Millonarios unable to harm Nacional in first game semifinal at El Campín

By Freek Huigen June 8, 2017


Millonarios Nacional

Millonarios dominates but can’t score in opening leg semifinal against Nacional                                      Photo Millonarios

Millonarios and Atlético Nacional don’t find the net in the first leg of the Liga Águila semifinal and await decisive return in Medellín on Sunday.

Millonarios could be forgiven for feeling like they missed an opportunity after failing to capitalise on any of a number of chances in the first leg of their semi-final tie against los verdolagas, which eventually finished 0-0.

Billed as slight favourites at home but underdogs in the overall tie, los embajadores came out firing and dominated the opening 25 minutes. The first opportunity came in the 18th minute when Andrés Cadavid volleyed just wide of the near post from a corner, and the second when the usually unflappable Nacional keeper Franco Armani struggled to parry a long range pot-shot from Harold Mosquera.

Two goals in first half stoppage time get Millonarios to semifinals

Current Nacional talisman and former Millonarios striker Dayro Moreno almost made his old team pay a few minutes later, but Cadavid was able to block his close-range effort.

Nacional right-back Daniel Bocanegra hit the post as he slid in behind the defence to get a toe on Macnelly Torres’ free kick in the 40th minute as Nacional got a foothold in the match and saw out a half that Millos would have felt they should have taken the lead in.

Millonarios again should have scored seven minutes in the second half when both Deiver Machado and Mosquera forced Armani into two brilliant reflex saves from close range within a couple of seconds. Mosquera then had Armani deny him what would have been an absolute screamer in the 65th minute, as he flicked the ball up and then volleyed a rocket towards the bottom left corner.

Nacional nearly nicked a result in the 3rd minute of injury time when their teenage centre-half Carlos Cuesta came close from almost point-blank range. Regardless, Millonarios will see last night as a huge opportunity missed when they head to Medellín as underdogs for Sunday night’s 7.30pm return leg at the Atanasio Girardot.

The other semifinal, the Cali derby between América and Deportivo Cali will be played tonight at 8pm in an empty Pascual Guerrero stadium as a result of the fan violence earlier this season.

By Tristan Quigley