Deportes Tolima is beaten, it is inevitable, on Sunday the star slipped out of his hands when he lost the League final against Atlético Nacional, and in home, but the football doesn't stop, and Tolima, that beaten team, will have to get up immediately to face another enormous challenge, against a giant like Flamengo from Brazil, in the round of 16 of the Copa Libertadores (7:30 p. m. Star TV +).
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The idyll of Tolima, which in the group stage surprisingly defeated Atlético Mineiro in Belo Horizonte to sneak into the round of 16 of the Libertadores, ended on Sunday in the final. When everything was ready for penalties, a last-minute goal (90+1) from Atlético Nacional brought down the Pijao players and their manager, Hernán Torres, who was left paralyzed and with his hands in his pockets.
“We are beaten, there are some contracted players, but more than anything we are emotionally beaten”, acknowledged Torres after the 4-3 aggregate defeat. But Tolima cannot collapse. Yes, he lost the final he dreamed of, it was an ambition of the team, but what comes next is also very important. It is the only Colombian team alive in the Copa Libertadores, it has shown great capacity, order and impetus to reach the round of 16, and now it will try to be the David that knocks down that Goliath that Manuel Murillo Toro visits.< /p>
Torres is concerned about some injuries; the medical staff will determine which players will be available to receive Flamengo, due to the fatigue accumulated in the 33 games played in 2022. Ánderson Plata, the speedy winger who with his dribbles and goals baffled rivals in the group stage, did not play the final due to injury and Tolima has not reported if they will have him today. Right-back Jonathan Marulanda and winger Andrés Ibargüen are also in doubt due to injuries sustained during Sunday's decisive match.
A month and a half after landing on the Flamengo bench, DT Dorival Júnior will debut in the Copa Libertadores with limited resources, despite the fact that his payroll is one of the most powerful on the continent today, with men of great international weight. The accumulation of yellow cards took the defensive midfielder João Gomes, Flamengo's anchor, out of the game, and a ligament injury ended the season of one of his figures, Bruno Henrique, the team's second scorer and top assister in the Copa Libertadores ( 5).
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The challenge looms large for Dorival Júnior, who in June replaced the Portuguese Paulo Sousa, cornered by the fans and fired for poor results. According to information from the Brazilian press, the team traveled to Ibagué without eight of its players, all sick with covid-19.
The goalkeeper Diego Alves, his substitutes Matheus Cunha and Kauã, the defenders Rodrigo Caio and Fabrício Bruno and the midfielders Willian Arão, Matheus França and Daniel Cabral would be the infected. The 'Fla' would face the game with only two front-line midfielders in the squad (Andreas Pereira and Thiago Maia). Of course, Gabigol commands her, the great star of the Brazilian club.
Tolima will have to take advantage of this situation to try to get a good result. The 'Fla', ninth in the Brasileirão with 18 points, comes from leading Group H of the Cup with 16 points, while the Ibagué team was second in D with 11.
WITH EFE AND AFP
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