O athletic guaranteed the bi-championship of the South American Cup thanks to Nikão’s goal in the victory over the Red Bull Bragantino 1-0, this Saturday, in Montevideo, Uruguay. To the sound of the group Barons of Pisadinha in a stadium with most seats empty, the finalists began the game by studying themselves, with no clear chances.
At 17, Terans stole the ball in the attacking field, escaped down the left, but kicked weakly into Cleiton’s hands. Two minutes later, Bragantino almost opened the scoring twice. Tomás Cuello tried for an Olympic goal and, when the red-black defense ruled out the danger, the Argentine caught the rebound and hit the ball, but the ball scraped the crossbar.
Athletico started to go out more for the game and responded with Terans, playing in the city where they were born, which ended with danger. At 28, the Uruguayan received a cross from the right, hit a strong cross and Cleiton threw it to the side. Nikao, Athletico’s main highlight of the year, took the leftover and amended a volley to score a beautiful goal. The midfielder, who can say goodbye to the club at the end of the year, scored four goals and gave six assists in 12 matches in the competition.
Playing below expectations, Bragança Paulista’s team tried to equalize at the end of the first half, with a header from the center forward Ytalo, but goalkeeper Santos fit the ball without difficulty.
Athletico control and Red Bull Bragantino’s warm game
On the way back from the break, at five minutes, Athletico tried for the second goal. In a quick counterattack, Nikão crossed in the area, Terans fixed his chest and Cittadini kicked it out.
With more ball possession, the Red Bull Bragantino he had difficulties to break through the opposing defense and was slow in exchanging passes. Main name of the team in 2021, midfielder Arthur, who had a discreet performance, appeared at 20, with a shot placed, but the ball went through the end line. The warm game of the second half favored the team from Paraná, which knew how to score with precision and did not get scared. With many players without so much experience in decisive games, Bragantino didn’t know how to react.
At 41, in a corner kick, Léo Ortiz headed the first post, but without danger for goalkeeper Santos. In stoppage time, again in a corner, Hurtado tried hard, but missed his aim.
At the end of the game, Athletico’s fans, in greater numbers at the stadium, celebrated the second title of the Copa Sudamericana. In 2018, the club from Paraná had already lifted the trophy for the competition.
ATHLETICO 1 X 0 RED BULL BRAGANTINO
ATHLETIC – Saints; Pedro Henrique, Thiago Heleno and Hernández (Zé Ivaldo); Marcinho, Erick (Fernando Canesin), Léo Cittadini (Nicolas) and Abner; Nikão, Terans (Christian) and Kayzer (Pedro Rocha). Technician: Alberto Valentim.
RED BULL BRAGANTINO – Cleiton; Aderlan, Fabrício Bruno, Léo Ortiz and Edimar (Luan Cândido); Jadsom, Praxedes (Gabriel Novaes) and Cuello (Alerrandro); Helinho, Artur (Leandrinho) and Ytalo (Hurtado). Coach: Maurício Barbieri.
GOALS – Nikão, at 28 minutes of the first half.
REFEREE – Andrés Matonte (URU)
YELLOW CARDS – Fabricio Bruno, Cittadini, Abner, Erick, Aderlan LOCAL – Centenary (Montevideo).