How relaxed was it for San Lorenzo many would ask? After his post-match press conference, San Lorenzo coach Edgardo Bauza was seen walking around the stadium with his family. His grandson was in his arms and he eventually walked his family to their car out in the parking lot. During that relatively short walk in the South Florida winter evening fans of Atlético Nacional, much to their surprise, stopped him and decided to take pictures with him.
After nearly a week of practicing at Florida International University, the reigning Copa Libertadores champs felt comfortable in their new confines and were able to handle a rusty Atlético Nacional 2-0 in front of a very small crowd.
San Lorenzo came out of the gate quick and took advantage of Nacional’s defensive shortcomings. Enzo Kalinski tore up the Nacional defense and would find Martín Cauteruccio to open the scoring in the first five minutes of the match. Nacional would possess the ball but would pose very little threat to Torrico on the San Lorenzo goal.
It would be Franco Armani that got a great deal of work throughout the night. Armani made some important saves but was let down by his defense, especially in San Lorenzo’s second goal. On a set piece Kalinski would be scot free and would have the ball hit him in the back. Armani would not be relieved of some type of blame as he came out in improper fashion and the ball would trickle into the net.
“After 11 practices, we still have the same problems that we had last season,” said Nacional coach Juan Carlos Osorio. “We will have to work on several of these things (set pieces) if we look to improve from last season.”
The second half would be stopped in the early stages as Nacional fans let off fireworks and threw papers onto the pitch when goalkeeper Sebastián Torrico was on their side of the pitch. Outside of that, there were few occurrences that really looked to change the course of the match. Nacional had the ball more, but were resigned to cross the ball into the area, but no one was there to make the final touch.
“I have to be pleased with the performance, there were lots of positives tonight,” said Bauza. “We were able to play with rhythm, and with intensity against a team that pressures well in the middle. We were also able to play well in the middle and neutralize a team that attacks with lots of individuals.”
San Lorenzo will stay in South Florida for an additional week as they prepare to take on River Plate in the South American Recopa on February 6th and 11th and then they will begin their participation in the Argentine league when they face Colón three days later. El Ciclón will begin their defense of the Copa Libertadores on February 19th when they visit Danubio in Montevideo. They will also face São Paulo and the winner of the tie between Corinthians and Once Caldas in Group 2 of the Copa Libertadores.