Atlético Nacional’s Late Winner Drops Corinthians
Sebastián Gomez scored a winner in the 83rd minute to lead Atlético Nacional to a 2-1 win over Corinthians in the second game of the Florida Cup double-header at Exploria Stadium on Saturday. Gomez nearly broke the game open earlier in the second half, but his header was only denied by the crossbar. With the win, Atlético Nacional finished runners-up in the tournament.
Both teams put out their first squads. Cássio led Corinthians with Gil and Pedro Henrique in front of him, and Luan, Janderson, and Ramiro played behind striker Mauro Boselli. Daniel Muñoz wore the captain band for Atlético Nacional with Jarlan Barrera playing behind a front three of Yerson Candelo, Déinner Quiñones, and Gustavo Torres.
Exploria Stadium had a great atmosphere as thousands of Corinthians and Nacional supporters sang from opposing ends, and the green flares for Nacional filled the air on multiple occasions. Corinthians struck first in the 7th minute off a wonderful buildup with Cantillo sending Janderson attacking down the left wing. Lucas Piton overlapped and crossed to the far post where Ramiro met the ball with the side of his foot and pushed it into the corner of the net.
Déinner Quiñones played fantastic down the right side for Nacional and attacked with Muñoz with speed, causing problems for Sidcley and Piton all first half. Corinthians nearly added to their lead after they earned a penalty kick in the 25th minute, but Boselli’s shot was saved by Cuadrado. Boselli nearly doubled the lead fifteen minutes later. Camacho’s pass found him free out left, but his first-time curler hit the crossbar. Boselli hid the side of the net three minutes later.
Atlético Nacional tied the game one minute from halftime. Quiñones had another spectacular attack, pulling in defenders before finding Yerson Candelo free on the left wing. His cross reached Gustavo Torres, whose header beat Cássio to draw Nacional level. Cantillo nearly responded with a minute later but his shot was saved by Cuadrado.
Nacional made seven changes at halftime, replacing most of their attacking players. Corinthians came out with the same lineup, making changes throughout the second half. Aldair Quintana was welcomed into the game immediately and made a spectacular double save to deny Vagner Love following rapid combination play inside the box from Luan to Ramiro to Vagner Love. Quiñones shot just over the crossbar ten minutes later, and Nacional almost took the lead a minute after that when Gomez’s header hit the crossbar.
Corinthians had their chances in the second half. Two misses, one from Richard and another from Vagner Love could have put them ahead. Mateus Vital also had a shot pushed wide by Cuadrado in the 78th minute. It appeared the teams were headed for penalties, and a Corinthians win would have won the Florida Cup on goal differential, but Gomez played the role of spoiler. Jefferson Duque chased a through ball, and Corinthians goalkeeper Walter got caught away from goal chasing the angle. Duque cut the ball back to Sebastián Gomez who found the back of the net with one touch. Gustavo Torres was named Man of the Match, and José was named Best Goalkeeper of the Florida Cup.
Attendance for both games on Saturday was 11,569. It was the second highest attendance for a Florida Cup game.
Corinthians and Nacional played for the second time. Their first meeting was on March 14th, 1954, and Corinthians won 4-3. Corinthians has played 9 games at the Florida Cup, with three wins, two draws, and now four losses.
Corinthians opens the Paulista season on January 23rd against Botafogo and faces the winner of Guaraní and San José in the second stage of the Copa Libertadores in early February. Atlético Nacional will play Deportivo Pereira in the opener of the Primera Apertura on January 26th then Huracán in the first round of the Copa Sudamericana on February 5th.
Corinthians- Ramiro- 7’
Atlético Nacional-Torres 44’
Atlético Nacional-Gomez 83’
Pedro Henrique 3’
12- Cássio (Captain), 4-Gil, 6- Lucas Piton, 7- Luan, 8- Cantillo, 17- Boselli, 20- Camacho, 23- Fagner, 28- Ramiro, 31- Janderson, 34- Pedro Henrique
27- Walter, 32- Donelli, 40- Filipe, 5- Gabriel, 9- Vagner Love, 13- Marllon, 14- Bruno Mendez, 16- Sidcley, 19- Gustavo, 22- Mateus Vital, 25- Richard, 29- Madson, 33- Davó, 35- Danilo Avelar
30- Cuadrado, Muñoz (Captain), 5- Braghieri, 7- Barrera, 10- Andrade, 14- Perlaza, 15- Blanco, 19- Candelo, 20- Torres, 23- Quiñones, 34- Córdoba
1-Quintana, 25- Uribe, 3- Fory, 6- Goez, 8- Rovina, 9- Duque, 11- Moreno, 16- Hernández, 17- Gonzalez, 24- Arungo, 26- Yabor, 27- Gómez, 29- Velasquez, 32- Mafla, 33- Mosquera