The Estadio Brigadier General Estanislao López, otherwise known as the Cementerio de Los Elefantes (The Elephants Graveyard) due to its giant killing reputation has seen some upsets but Colón coming from behind to defeat Atlético Mineiro will be right up there if El Sabalero can finish the job next week and seal a place in the Copa Sudamericana final.
There is still a lot to do in Belo Horizonte but El Pulga Rodriguez’s late winner on Thursday evening has given Colón something to defend in the second leg and put El Sabalero close to a first ever continental final.
Despite the electric atmosphere it didn’t look like lady luck was shining on Colón when Atlético took the lead in such fortuitous circumstance, Marcelo Estigarribia hammering the ball into forward Yimmi Chará and it flying inadvertantly off the Colombian into the net.
The away goal was huge and ahead of the second leg Pablo Lavallén knew his side needed something. That hadn’t looked too likely during the first half but only seven minutes after the restart, the home side were level.
Goalkeeper Cleiton hadn’t really been tested during the opening 45 minutes but could do nothing as Emanuel Olivera flicked on Luis Rodriguez’s corner for Wilson Moreno to arrive unmarked at the backpost and stick out a boot.
Atlético may well have taken the draw such is their confidence back at home yet with four minutes remaining El Pulga struck. Fernando Zuqui volleyed back across the face of goal and Rodriguez was there to tap in sending the stadium into rapture.
The hero at Atlético Tucumán previously, the flea now has three goals and four assists in this year’s Copa Sudamericana and is rapidly writing himself into Colón’s history too. If El Sabalero can find a way into the final, Rodriguez will certainly have done that.
— CONMEBOL Sudamericana (@Sudamericana) September 20, 2019