Everything or nothing. This is the situation of Flamengo for the match against Independiente this Wednesday, December 13. With the start scheduled for 21:45 (Brasilia time) the duel ends the 2017 season in the continent and defines who will get the trophy of the South American Cup.
In the first game, in Argentina, Independiente won by 2 to 1. That way, they will have the trophy if they win or draw. The red-blacks need a two-point victory to be a regular time champion. Since in the tournament decision the criterion of the away goal is not used for tiebreaker, any success of the client by margin of a goal causes the accomplishment of the extension. If equality persists after 30 minutes, the definition will be through penalty kicks.
The current form of Flamengo
Unlike the first game, when he had practically no time for preparation since he had an important game for the Brazilian Championship the previous Sunday, this time Flamengo had a free practice week.
It’s not the team’s only weapon to try to turn. The red-blacks expect more than 50,000 people in Maracanã to help the team in reaction. The great example to show the importance of this incentive was the second game of the semifinals against Fluminense. Flamengo was losing by 3 to 1 and being eliminated. In the final minutes of the second half, he was equal to 3 to 3, dispatching the tricolor of the tournament.
For players, the coaching staff and the board there is a lot of pressure on the game. He will determine if Flamengo has had a season considered acceptable or may generate a brutal crisis in the club, which despite the results below expectations has been contained precisely because of survival in South America.
Owner of great capacity of investment, Flamengo contracted a series of reinforcements that made the club to be considered candidate for the title of all the competitions that disputed. However, he began to disappoint his supporters by being knocked out of the Copa Libertadores still in the group stage.
The situation worsened when the team was defeated by Cruzeiro in the final of the Brazilian Cup. However, no result was more questioned than the sixth place in the Brasileirão. Very low position against the potential of the team.
Thus, only a victory in the South American Cup could contain an angry reaction of the fans that certainly opened a serious crisis directive. In that case, not even the Colombian coach Reinaldo Rueda, who has a contract until the end of December, would have his job guaranteed.
The coach did not anticipate the team he wants to put on the field. However, in his last pre-match press conference, Everton, who missed out on the first leg, is “500% recovered” from the muscle injury that took him off the pitch for about a month. This implied that the athlete should be climbed as a starter once he opens a choice of speed attacks by the tips.
The recent performance of Independiente
After gaining a break from postponing his Argentine Championship match before the first deciding game of the South American Cup, Independiente can not count on the same advantage this time around. He needed to enter the field on Saturday, December 9, to face Sarandi’s Arsenal. Even without his full team, he won 2-1.
He went up to the sixth place in the local tournament. He has 21 points (six wins, three draws and two losses). It has, however, one more game to be accomplished than all the teams that are ahead of it in the leaderboard. If you win, you will jump to the third position. He would be behind only Boca Juniors, leader with 30 points, and San Lorenzo, second placed with 27.
This, however, is the lowest concern of the Independent. A multi-champion of Libertadores, the team sees in the Copa Sudamericana their chance to resume their good history of continental conquests. That should cause at least four thousand fans to move to Rio de Janeiro to watch Sula’s decision. That was the number of tickets for the club. All were sold. There are also expectations that another six thousand supporters will follow the team, even without having the Maracanã entry guaranteed.
The Independiente started their campaign in the South American Cup without any brilliance and had more work than one could hope to confirm their favoritism against the Alianza, of Peru. They tied it at home, scoreless, and only saved their survival by scoring 1-0 in Lima.
The situation became more relaxed in the second phase. Against the Chileans of Deportes Iquique, Independiente scored 4 to 2 in Argentina and won again with the visitor. 2 – 1 was the score after the first half.
In the round of 16 he had a local duel. He lost the first match, by 1 to 0, to Atletico Tucumán, in the opponent’s stadium. But he managed to turn the tables by winning the second game 2-0.
In the quarter-finals, he had the calmer definition of confrontation. He thrashed the Nacional in Paraguay 4-1. Then, at home, he won again 2-0, eliminating the team responsible for taking the South American Cruise.
In the semifinals, another Paraguayan was a victim of Independiente. However, the Libertad gave much more work. He defeated Asunción by 1-0. He fell 3-1 in Argentina.
History of the bouts between Independiente and Flamengo
The teams have recorded 15 matches throughout history. The red-blacks won seven of them. The Argentines won four times and the draws were four.
Flamengo showed throughout the year great difficulty to overcome booms like the one that must be mounted by Independiente in Maracanã. He has great ability to touch the ball and avoid danger to his goal, but presents problems when giving more intensity to the game.
Even so, by playing at home, the red-black victory should be considered the best guess. Has a prize of 1.70 in Rivalo. Draw yields 3.50 and Argentine success pays 5.30 for 1.