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  1. #1
    Sam's Avatar
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    Copa Sudamericana 2017

    This begins on Tuesday with the preliminary round first legs. Those will be played over the course of a week or so, with the second legs coming in... early-to-mid May, and in a couple of cases on the 1st of June.

    No, me neither.

  2. #2

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    Now it's time to revisit this thread. The final is set after some interesting 1/2 final second legs. Indpendiente has looked really good in the knockout rounds. Flamengo has been involved with some exciting matches since dropping from the Libertadores. The Junior-Flamengo match seemed to mirror the Lanus-Gremio final in many ways.

    I'm hoping both teams continue with the attacking approaches.

  3. #3
    Don’t know if you’re aware of the backstory behind Flamengo’s win at Júnior Barranquilla. Flamengo had a big goalkeeping crisis with Diego Alves having broken his shoulder. His replacement was to be Alex Muralha, despite having been called up to the Brazil squad last year has had the most wretched of seasons and has been the target of abuse and ridicule by Flamengo fans. He cam in for last Sunday’s game against Santos and again made two awful mistakes. He looked a broken fan and was in no fit psychological state to play on Thursday so Rueda gambled on third choice keeper César who hadn’t played a senior game for two years. And, as you know, he saved the penalty and will surely play in the final.

    Flamengo are still missing the suspended Guerrero and are having to rely on two youngsters, Lucas Paquetá and Felipe Vizeu up front alongside the more experienced Everton Ribeiro. I have been less than impressed with Flamengo this season (along with their fans) so I wouldn’t be that confident about their chances in the final. If they do win though, it will mean no fewer than 9 Brazilian teams in next year’s Libertadores!

  4. #4
    Anyone watching?

    First thought is that the atmosphere is a lot more intense that at Lanús last week.

  5. #5
    ursus arctos's Avatar
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    Very open match with lots of chances

  6. #6
    HT 1-1. Good game.

  7. #7
    Sam's Avatar
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    Yep, cracking stuff from both sides. I'd say Independiente just about deserve their lead, but might regret not having been able to extend it. Is Paolo Guerrero going to be back for the second leg, cantagalo? Bit odd how FIFA extended his ban by ten days at such short notice, which is why he missed this leg ...

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    Yep, cracking stuff from both sides. I'd say Independiente just about deserve their lead, but might regret not having been able to extend it. Is Paolo Guerrero going to be back for the second leg, cantagalo? Bit odd how FIFA extended his ban by ten days at such short notice, which is why he missed this leg ...
    FIFA has just announced that Guerrero will be suspended for a year until November 2018 which sounds harsh, to say the least.

    Not only will he miss the second leg but also the World Cup. His contract at Flamengo ends in August 2018 so, unless the Peruvian FA’s appeal is successful, he probably won’t play for them again.

  9. #9
    It’s looking unlikely. The Brazilian press don’t sound optimistic. As you said, FIFA have extended the provisional 30 day suspension by 10 days (the President of the Peruvian Federation is saying it could be another 20 days), arguing that they need more time to analyse evidence provided by his defence. It all seems very arbitrary.

    As well as Felipe Vizeu did last night, it’s undeniable that Guerrero would be a much greater goal threat at the Maracanã, providing he’s still match fit after more than a month out.
    Last edited by cantagalo; 07-12-2017 at 09:28.

  10. #10
    Should have mentioned earlier that I thought Independiente looked a very good team, particularly the 18 year old Barco. He compared very favourably with Vinicius Jr!

  11. #11

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    This was an exciting match. Both sides have tried to push forward in the knockout rounds (I didn't see any of Indepdendiente's earlier games and Flamengo were a jekyll and hyde side in the Libertadores group stage with a good approach at home and poor results on the road). I tend to agree with Sam that overall Independiente looked a touch better (possession stats were slightly in their favor as well) but they did seem to sit back after that second goal. I wonder if they had maintained the pressure in Flamengo's end (perhaps the parallel of forechecking in hockey terms) they could have added another goal. The second leg should be quite exciting.

    @cantagalo: I don't know if you are in England or Rio now but do you know if the return leg will air in England? I will still be in Bolton that night so who knows if there will be a bar where I could watch or if the hotel TV will have the right channel but I figured you might know if it's on TV there.

  12. #12
    I’m in England but it won’t be on TV here. The only Brazilian football here is some fairly sporadic coverage of league games on BT Sport but no-one has bought the rights for the Libertadores or the Sudamericana.

    I shall be watching on my laptop. Let me know if you want a decent link.

  13. #13
    Sam's Avatar
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    Betting websites will provide the most reliable links, I would imagine.

    And yes, Ezequiel Barco is one of my favourite players right now. He's not quite on the level of Sergio Agüero when he was at Independiente, completely humiliating defenders who were in many cases basically twice his age, but he's not an awfully long way off. He reminds me a lot of Erik Lamela at the same age, with the difference that Lamela was playing with the weight of the world on his shoulders - chucked into a key attacking role at a club (River Plate) who were on their way to being relegated for the first time in their history, and therefore with an absolutely unimaginable amount of pressure, even if none of the fans thought it was his fault - whereas Barco is in a team who are at the top of their game right now. Independiente play the most joined-up attacking football in Argentina at the moment, and it's testimony to them that they're operating at this level just over three months after losing Emiliano Rigoni to Zenit St. Petersburg in August (European football watchers will now know Rigoni as the current leading scorer in the Europa League). A vital player out, and after a bit of a wobble at the start of the season when they struggled to put away chances regularly (but kept creating them) they've now got even better, if anything. And Barco, at his tender age, is the first choice penalty taker among other responsibilities. I think that speaks volumes for his quality.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    Betting websites will provide the most reliable links, I would imagine.

    And yes, Ezequiel Barco is one of my favourite players right now. He's not quite on the level of Sergio Agüero when he was at Independiente, completely humiliating defenders who were in many cases basically twice his age, but he's not an awfully long way off. He reminds me a lot of Erik Lamela at the same age, with the difference that Lamela was playing with the weight of the world on his shoulders - chucked into a key attacking role at a club (River Plate) who were on their way to being relegated for the first time in their history, and therefore with an absolutely unimaginable amount of pressure, even if none of the fans thought it was his fault - whereas Barco is in a team who are at the top of their game right now. Independiente play the most joined-up attacking football in Argentina at the moment, and it's testimony to them that they're operating at this level just over three months after losing Emiliano Rigoni to Zenit St. Petersburg in August (European football watchers will now know Rigoni as the current leading scorer in the Europa League). A vital player out, and after a bit of a wobble at the start of the season when they struggled to put away chances regularly (but kept creating them) they've now got even better, if anything. And Barco, at his tender age, is the first choice penalty taker among other responsibilities. I think that speaks volumes for his quality.
    I have some better ones if you don’t mind Brazilian commentary. No sign-up required.

    I would imagine the European vultures are already hovering over Barco just as Barcelona seem to be closing in on Grêmio’s Arthur. It pisses me off that these days I only get to see these players for a season or so - in Arthur’s case about 20 games and for Vinícius Jr a few starts and numerous substitute appearances - before they disappear. Neymar stayed at Santos for 5 seasons.

    Anyway, thanks for the info about Barco. Really looking forward to the second leg.

  15. #15

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    English, Spanish, or Portuguese commentary are all good. The one language I try to avoid is Russian because the announcers never deviate their rate, pitch, or volume and when I get buried with work I look up the TV only to find that 5 goals have been scored. Anyway, if you could PM me your starting point for a link, that would be great. I doubt the wifi in the hotel will be very good since I'm staying in cheap places and I don't know how busy I'll be at night. But it's worth having an option. If I miss it, I will watch when I get home.

  16. #16

  17. #17
    Started off at a hell of a pace. Everton has missed a good chance for Flamengo.

  18. #18
    Penalty! Confirmed by VAR. Can Cesar do it again?

    No. Scored by Barco. Lot of bottle for an 18 year old. 1-1.

  19. #19
    1-0 Flamengo. Lucas Paquetá. Game on.

  20. #20
    Finished 1-1 and a deserved title for Independiente.

    I think Rueda went for broke too early bringing on Vinícius Jr and improvising Everton at left back. Flamengo looked far less balanced and Diego, who so often looks a class apart in domestic games, again failed to impose himself in a big game. The best bit of the second half was the brilliant run and chip by Gigliotti and an even better goal-line clearance by Juan. Overall, Flamengo showed themselves to be a limited side who probably overachieved in reaching the final.

  21. #21
    Sam, I’ve just read a match report by Tim Vickery in which he says that Barco is off to Atlanta United. Why would he want to go there?

  22. #22
    Sam's Avatar
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    Our US-based posters will be able to explain better than I can, but essentially MLS is starting to look at itself - and Atlanta are quite vocally leading this charge - as something of a finishing school for Latin American youngsters. They know they can't compete if the big European clubs come calling, but they also know that if they can beat those clubs to a deal by a few months, they can offer more in wages than the player is getting in Argentina. Their sell to Barco himself (and his agent) will be something like, it's a growing league, European clubs know you already and will continue to track your progress here, so come and get a taste of life in a new culture, learn to adapt, and play under an Argentine manager with several other players who speak your language.

    There's also, you know, the financial security of his family and himself to consider. He's not from a rich family. Top players in Argentina earn a decent amount compared with the general populace but aside from when Boca break the bank to bring back a Tevez or a Riquelme they're not on insane money (and even then, Riquelme played one year of his contract for free when he came back to Boca, because he wanted the move). Why wouldn't a 17-year-old want to take Designated Player wages if they're offered to him? Sure, he could wait around another six months and see whether Internazionale or Benfica or an English club (he's on record as saying he'd love to play in the Premier League one day) come calling. He could also break his leg in training and see that chance go down the toilet.

  23. #23
    That’s interesting. I haven’t heard of any young Brazilian players being targeted by US clubs yet.

    I completely understand the financial imperative and I’d imagine he’ll be assured of more game time there. I had the same reaction to this story as I have when average to good Brazilian players disappear to China or the Middle East, spend a few years there and assure the future of their families. From my admittedly limited viewing of Barco (the two games against Flamengo!), he looks a lot better than that. I hope it’s just a staging post for him.

    We could treat this as a sort of controlled experiment and in five years time compare the career trajectories of Barco and Vinícius Jr.

  24. #24
    Sam's Avatar
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    Haha, that'd be interesting. He'll be joining Madrid in mid-2019, right? They've paid one hell of a lot of money for him.

    Barco is the best player in his position(s) since Erik Lamela broke through at River Plate, in my opinion, and might be the best Argentine attacking player since Agüero came through at Independiente (although he's not quite in Agüero's level - Agüero really was something else). If the upcoming World Cup were in 2020 rather than in six months' time, I think Barco would have a very real chance of getting into the squad.

  25. #25
    It hasn’t been decided yet. The earliest is July 2018 (when he’s 18) but it could be January 2019 or June 2019.

    It sounds harsh but I’ve been underwhelmed by his (mainly off the bench) performances this year. Of course he’s only 17, but I can’t help but think that his stellar performances at youth level were at least partly due to his early physical development. He has been unable to establish a regular place in a pretty mediocre Flamengo team - unlike Barco at Independiente.

    Of course, I reserve the right to delete this post when in five years time he is acknowledged as a world superstar.

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