Vélez Sarsfield and Liga de Quito, who are fighting for second place in a Group G dominated by the unbeatable Flamengo, will meet this Thursday in Argentina on the fourth day of the Copa Libertadores, which will begin to define the future of these two teams that fight for the same goal.
Flamengo leads with nine out of nine possible, followed by the Ecuadorians with four points, the Argentines with three and the Chilean Union La Calera, last with one unit.
The winner of this Thursday’s match will depend on himself to qualify for the round of 16 in the last two days.
Three days after this match, Vélez Sarsfield will host Racing Club in the quarterfinals of the Argentine Professional Soccer League Cup.
On Saturday, those led by Mauricio Pellegrino beat Gimnasia and Esgrima La Plata 0-5.
In that match, Pellegrino used an alternative lineup because Vélez was already classified for the quarterfinals after sweeping in the first phase and finishing as the leader of Zone 2 with 31 points (out of 39 possible), nine more than the second, Boca Juniors .
Instead, Liga de Quito lost 3-1 to Independiente de Valle on Saturday and finished fifth in the first phase of the Pro League, which Emelec dominates with five more points and one game less.
This was the Ecuadorians’ first defeat in the eleven rounds of the tournament.
In addition, last week they also fell for the Libertadores 2-3 against Flamengo.
But Vélez has a serious drawback: the coronavirus.
“Today the main problem we have is Covid. We have been having positives in the weeks and we try to preserve the footballers as much as possible. I am grateful for the players who do not play,” Pellegrino said at a press conference.
Joaquín García, starter in the win against Gimnasia, tested positive on Monday and is ruled out for Thursday.
“I imagine a very tough game against the League because for them it is also a key game. We both have possibilities,” he added.
For Liga de Quito coach, Uruguayan Pablo Repetto, this match is essential to qualify.
“Flamengo will be the first in the group, between Velez and Liga the second place is defined. I want to tell people that we are committed to always and we want to achieve the objectives,” said the coach.
On the fifth matchday, to be played on May 19, Vélez will host Unión La Calera and the Ecuadorians will visit Flamengo.
– Probable lineups:
Vélez Sarsfield: Lucas Hoyos, Tomás Guidara, Matías de los Santos, Luis Abram, Francisco Ortega, Pablo Galdames, Federico Mancuello, Agustín Bouzat, Agustín Bouzat, Lucas Janson and Juan Lucero. Coach: Mauricio Pellegrino.
Quito League: Adrián Gabbarini, Luis Caicedo, Moises Corozo, Andersson Ordóñez, Ezequiel Piovi, Jordy Alcivar, Christian Cruz, Matiás Zunino, Cristian Martínez Borja and Billy Arce. Coach: Pablo Repetto.
Referee: the Peruvian Victor Carrillo, assisted by his compatriots Coty Carrera and Richard Trinidad.
Stadium: José Amafiltani, from Buenos Aires.
Time: 21.30 local (0.30 GMT).