On Wednesday, March 8, the first leg match for the last preliminary phase of the Copa Libertadores was played, in which Millonarios received Atlético de Mineiro at the Nemesio Camacho stadium, El Campín in Bogotá, who arrived in Colombia as the great favorite of the series to win the place in the group stage of the most important club tournament in America.
And it is that the Brazilians have a list of stars, for which they are not only favorites to eliminate Millionaires, but also have something to seriously fight for the Copa Libertadores. However, this does not mean that Mineiro has plenty of money, since they arrived at this cup phase with some pending salaries to pay their expensive footballers.
Apparently, the Brazilian team is going through a financial crisis that has not allowed it to keep up with its payroll, which is why the managers were very concerned before the game in Bogotá. Since it is understood how important it is to keep the players motivated, so that they qualify for the group stage and the club can secure an additional three million dollars that will allow them to settle various debts.
For this reason, and thinking of preventing the financial crisis from affecting the team’s sporting performance, the Atlético Mineiro managers in the last few hours made the payment of the salaries for the month of February to the coaching staff and professional players of the squad. In order to avoid that the lack of normal motivation by not receiving the payment, allow the Brazilians to be surprised and be eliminated by Millionaires next Wednesday in Belo Horizonte.
“Faced with a sequence of important and decisive matches for the 2023 season, Atlético-MG managed to prevent the salary arrears with its footballers from increasing,” published the Brazilian newspaper Globo Esporte, ensuring that the team received payment of their salary for the previous month. .
However, Atlético Mineiro has many more debts, so the match against Millonarios becomes a final, not only from a sporting point of view, but also from an economic point of view. Since if they were eliminated against the Colombian team, the economic crisis would increase considerably and surely they would not be able to sustain the expensive list of players they have in 2023.
The Gauls visited Bogotá after leaving Carabobo from Venezuela on the road, while Millonarios arrived at this stop after defeating the Catholic University of Ecuador in phase 2.
With the intention of looking for the first goal, Millonarios advanced their lines, leaving spaces in their defense that were taken advantage of by the rivals, who through the counterattack reached Álvaro Montero’s goal with greater danger.
However, the greatest chance of scoring that the cariocas had was through the reference Hulk, a player who received a perfect ball behind the Colombian defenders and went hand in hand. However, the experienced attacker squandered the option in an incredible way by sending the ball over the frame.
With the passing of the minutes, the reference from Mineiro returned to have an approach to the rival portico after taking a powerful shot from medium distance that the goalkeeper Montero demanded. Despite having the best options in the first half, the lack of efficiency took its toll on the Brazilians, who in the last minutes of the first half saw their goal fall thanks to a lack of concentration in their defense.
After taking a corner kick, David Silva took advantage of the lack of communication in the rival defense to hit the far post alone, and thus make it 1-0 for the Bogotanians.
For the second half, the rhythm of the game was maintained in the same way by the two teams. The first goal option was Mineiro’s after the Hulk took advantage of a mistake on the way out by Juan Pablo Vargas to go one-on-one against Montero. However, the goalkeeper ended up prevailing for the second time in the match.
Minutes later, justice arrived for the visiting team that was fast in attack and thanks to Paulinho found the tie. A leaked ball for the forward made the rival defense lose control to be left alone and define above Montero.
In an effort to score the second goal, the ambassadors once again left space in the back zone and had scares with the speed of Mineiro’s forward men who, fortunately, were not lethal.