“Kill or die”, the reasons to believe in Melgar's comeback in his native Arequipa

“Kill or die”, the reasons to believe in Melgar's comeback in his native Arequipa

Opinion of Jorge Malpartida, about the feat that Melgar will seek tonight against Independiente del Valle in search of the final of the Copa Sudamericana.

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“Kill or die”, the reasons to believe in Melgar's comeback in his native Arequipa

Bernardo Cuesta is the South American top scorer with six goals (Photo : EFE)

An extra layer of identity has been added to the well-known pride of Arequipa: red and black passion. In recent times, being a fan of Melgar it is a component impregnated in the DNA of those who live sheltered by the three volcanoes.

In the streets of my city, you can see Domino banners hanging from the balconies, the taxi drivers walk around with Melgarian caps and the children with 'León del Sur' T-shirts imitate Bernardo Cuesta's roar of goal, the laboratory passes of 'Chaka' Arias and the saving saves by Cáceda. “Melgar is Arequipa, Arequipa is Melgar”. Like never before, that chorus has become a reality.

The great moment that the local club is going through has given its fans a new state of mind. Confidence about the future. This orderly, efficient and seasoned team has taught its followers to dream. But to dream with his feet on the ground, after obtaining results that seemed impossible. The illusion that this Melgar currently generates has something to hold on to. It is enough to look at what has been achieved in this South American: first in their group, above the favorite Racing; they left Deportivo Cali and all their stripes on the road, and the feat at home against Inter de Porto Alegre.

These joys are not just a matter of luck. Behind it is a long-term project that combines good work with minors, an orderly and professional administration, and a string of very demanding coaches (Lorenzo and Lavallén are the latest example) who have promoted the talent and identification of the players with the team.

For these reasons, the blow received this week in Quito is not the end of the road yet. The hope of reaching the final is still stuck in the Melgarian fibers. Reversing that 3-0 and overcoming the key is not crazy. Already in 2015, after losing 5-0 in Barranquilla, Melgar scored 4 goals against Junior in Arequipa. It was not enough to continue in the South American, but the team left applauded and with blood still in their eyes.

For this Wednesday, in the second leg of the semifinals, there is a promise of revenge. “Kill or die at home”, said Captain Cuesta. This warning is not in vain: it is what those who dream big are used to. “It's difficult, but not impossible, this team is characterized by fighting,” continued the Argentine striker, who has become an idol in the ten years he has been bursting nets at the foot of the Misti. That rebelliousness is shared by the entire squad that he captains. No one has lowered their arms in this fight.

“Kill or die”, the reasons to believe in Melgar's comeback in his native Arequipa

Melgar vs. Independiente del Valle will play the second leg of the semifinals of the continental competition in Arequipa.

There are still 90 minutes to go and the White City knows it too. Flags of support have already been announced for the match preview, caravans are organized with drums and cymbals, and in the alleys of ashlar the cry of “come on, León; Come on Leon.” There is still stamina.

May the UNSA stadium be packed this Wednesday and that roar of encouragement come out from the stands, with pride. Independiente del Valle will not have it easy during their visit to Arequipa. Not for nothing, God wanted hell to be red and black.