Atlético Nacional frustrated by Patriotas in drab goalless draw

By Alex Papadovassilakis August 3, 2018

The game between Nacional and Patriotas was played at Estadio, Medellín. Photo by Arjun Harindranath

Matchday three of the 2018 Liga Águila II saw Atlético Nacional and Patriotas Boyacá play out a lacklustre goalless draw, with the home side failing to convert a series of chances.

Nacional, who have now gone 74 days without a win at home, dominated the game from long spells but were unable to find a winning goal during a forgettable 90 minutes at the Atanasio Girardot Stadium in Medellín. The Antioquian side had a total of 20 shots, five of which were on target, but only one managed to test Patriotas keeper Diego Martínez.

Boyacá on the other hand managed just two shots, though both were clear goal-scoring opportunities. Ramiro Fergonzi came closest with an ambitious bicycle kick.

The draw leaves Nacional 7th in the table, with four points from three games, two points ahead of their opponents who lie in 13th.

The home side dominated the first half, moving the ball slickly and probing the Patriotas defence from the off. It took just six minutes for Nacional to carve out a chance, when Dayro Moreno beat his marker but was unable to test Martínez with his shot. Just two minutes later, Moreno’s struck again from outside the box and forced a good save from Martínez, keeping the score at 0-0 despite growing pressure.

Yet despite controlling the game, at times Nacional played without purpose and looked unlikely to score. The next clear-cut opportunity for the home side came in the 36th minute, when Yerson Candelo whipped in a vicious cross from the left, only for Moreno misfire once again, heading over from less than six yards out.

After the break Patriotas showed more attacking intent and on a few occasions found themselves in dangerous areas. Their best chance came in the 60th minute, Federico Arbeláez finding teammate Ramiro Fergonzi with a precise cross from the left wing, the striker hitting the target with an acrobatic scissor kick and forcing a decent save from Nacional keeper Christian Vargas.

Yet Patriotas were unable to sustain any real pressure and in the latter stages Nacional reasserted their dominance, attacking from all angles but still unable to find the target, the home side’s inability to find the target ultimately costing them two valuable points.

Nonetheless, Nacional manager Jorge Alimrón was pleased his team’s creativity going forward. “We had so many chances, I don’t know what more you can do,” he said in the post-match press conference. “I would be more worried if the team wasn’t creating chances.”

Patriotas on the other hand picked up a valuable point and will be buoyed by a solid defensive performance away from home against one of the league favourites.

Going forward, Nacional will look to make up for lost points when they host Bogotá side Millionarios on Sunday 12th August, with Patriotas visiting América de Cali on the same day.