Colombia crashed into Wuilker Faríñez. And again. In his second match of the Copa América, the pupils of Reinaldo Rueda, who has remained undefeated since he took office as coach, failed to go beyond a draw that knows little before a decimated, but worthy Venezuela, entrusted to the goalkeeper’s feline saves of the Lens. La Vinotinto did not look as fragile from the outbreak of coronavirus infections as in its debut against Brazil, and managed to survive the incursions of an anxious Duván Zapata to draw an unlikely goalless draw.
With a memorable performance, the 1.75 goalkeeper looked like a giant on the pitch. Colombia’s attack, a wide favorite, was again led by Zapata and Luis Fernando Muriel, the explosive pair of Atalanta forwards, who had been relegated to the bench in Sunday’s struggling debut against Ecuador. Muriel scored 22 goals and Zapata 15 in the European season. Colombia had overtaken Venezuela at the start of the qualifying rounds, when Carlos Queiroz’s process was still underway, after the Copa América two years ago, with a comfortable 3-0 win in Barranquilla. At that time, Duván and Muriel celebrated twice, but Faríñez stifled the coffee momentum at the Pedro Ludovico Teixeira Olympic Stadium in Goiania.
In the other lines, Rueda resumed the base of his first two games in qualifying for the World Cup in Qatar, with the return to the center of the defense of Davinson Sánchez, from Tottenham, to make a pair of towers with a Premier pedigree with Yerry Mina, teammate of the absent James Rodríguez at Everton. The Colombian coach also recovered William Tesillo as a left back in place of Yairo Moreno, who was injured in the first match and will miss the rest of the tournament. In the middle of the field, he kept Juan Guillermo Cuadrado and Edwin Cardona, the Juventus midfielder and Boca Juniors’ ten who scored the only goal against Ecuador, as those in charge of moving the strings.
In the Vinotinto the old acquaintances of Colombian football abound. The greatest novelty against the fragile team that fell thrashed against Neymar’s Brazil (3-0) was the return to the goal of Wuilker, the providential saves goalkeeper remembered by the fans of Millonarios de Bogotá, instead of Joel Graterol, current champion of the Colombian league with América de Cali. Venezuelan internationals usually stop over in the neighboring country, with a greater tradition than baseball Venezuela, as also demonstrated by the presence of Fernando Aristeguieta, the Mexican Mazatlán striker who also played in the Red Devils From Cali.
Faríñez, runner-up with the promising U-20 runner-up crop of the 2017 World Cup in South Korea, was a wall against the Colombians. It had not been five minutes when The bull Zapata had already burned his gloves for his first Copa América save. The game of Rueda’s pupils was much more fluid than in the rapid victory by the minimum against Ecuador, with a Cardona inspired by the last pass while he was on the court. When the ten He drew his right from the balcony of the area, Faríñez also saved his flush shot. About half an hour, Duván crashed again with Faríñez’s gloves, after another pass from Cardona, and the goalkeeper even repelled another furious shot from the Atalanta gunner before the first half was consummated with five merit saves, another with the feet before a hoot from Muriel.
“There may be technical tastes, but the level of Faríñez is indisputable,” said on Colombian television another legend of the patriot bow, Rafael Dudamel, who directed him in the national team and also played in the Colombian league, where he was nicknamed “San Rafael ”in his days as an active goalkeeper in Santa Fe, Deportivo Cali or Millonarios himself. “The Faríñez thing is simply spectacular”, he affirmed enthusiastically in his role as commentator in the second half, while that of Lens maintained his performance.
When Matheus Uribe, the steering wheel box to box del Porto, drew on his repertoire with a Chilean postcard art, Faríñez pulled it out with his fingernails. Again he stretched out a miraculous hand before another hammered header from Uribe, and one more in the last breath to counter another chalaca from Miguel Ángel Borja, who entered through Zapata. In the next game against Peru, Rueda will not be able to count on Uribe, due to the accumulation of yellow cards, nor on Luis Díaz, sent off at the last minute for stepping on Francisco La Mantía with the taches.
In the other area, David Ospina had a placid afternoon that allowed him to prolong the unbeaten Colombian that comes from the previous Copa América, which Colombia said goodbye to with its goal on zero after four games. La Vinotinto did not get to kick between the sticks. At the end of the game, the veteran Naples goalkeeper, 32, crossed the field to Faríñez, 23, to congratulate him and merge in a hug. On television, Dudamel said that his teammates nicknamed him Wuilkerman.
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