The ball had hit Jhilmar Lora’s chest, who was calm at all times and waited for the images. (Video: ESPN).
Sporting Cristal was facing as a visitor against Huracán from Argentina in a match valid for the first leg of phase 3 of the Copa Libertadores 2023. From the beginning, the home owners took possession of the ball and sought to move it in a way intelligent to find the spaces and generate danger. For their part, the ‘celestial’ tried to appeal to counterattacks, although every time they had chances to play and be protagonists, they did not hesitate to do so. However, the score was close to undergoing variations after the referee sanctioned a penalty for the alleged hand of Jhilmar Lora, although with the review in the VAR, he rectified his decision.
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This action was carried out at 48 minutes. The ‘Globo’ goalkeeper, Lucas Cháves, began to play from his area after a deflected shot from Ignácio da Silva. He played with Fernando Tobio, who supported himself with a partner, although the pressure from those led by Tiago Nunes prevented them from leaving easily. Suddenly, Cháves had to send a long ball that was won by Nicolás Cordero from above, who immediately headed down the left side with Juan Gauto.
The steering wheel combined with Guillermo Benítez and he returned it to him. The ball ended up at the feet of Federico Fattori, who changed the band with Guillermo Soto, who took advantage of poor control by Washington Corozo to get hold of the ball, project himself through the right sector and take a cross, which was hit by the head by Gauto, whose pass collided with Jhilmar Lora in a play that did not seem clear. In that, the referee Andrés Matonte sanctioned the maximum penalty, which provoked the claim of the ‘rimenses’ players, who did not understand this decision because they considered that it was not a hand.
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Just a few minutes later, the Uruguayan judge received the call from the VAR to review the action carefully, something that finally happened. And after seeing a couple of shots, the referee was able to realize that the ball had hit the chest of the national side. Now, possibly, at the moment of the header and due to the speed of the play, the fact that the Peruvian had open arms would have confused Matonte, who later rectified his decision and annulled the penalty.
The image that the referee reviewed in VAR about the action of Jhilmar Lora in Sporting Cristal vs Huracán. (Fox Sports)
Obviously, if they had not corrected their opinion, Sporting Cristal could have been compromised by a possible goal from Huracán, which would have complicated their approach to the game. The coach of the ‘bajopontinos’, Tiago Nunes, had raised a match with the firmness of the defenders in the background, although at the moment of attacking, with the imagination and skill of the midfielders and attackers to cause damage in the Argentine goal. However, until that moment in the first half, it was the locals who prevailed in the game and showed greater intensity and mobility to beat the fence of Renato Solís.
Jhilmar Lora has experienced a notable improvement in his game starting this year at Sporting Cristal. Despite the fact that his first years were very auspicious, with coach Roberto Mosquera in 2022 he did not enjoy many opportunities and was mainly on the substitute bench. Johan Madrid had won the fight for the right side. He even floated the possibility of him leaving the team in search of better playing chances, although he ended up staying.
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With the departure of Mosquera and the arrival of Tiago Nunes, the situation changed for Lora. And it is that the Brazilian gave him the confidence he needed and he was able to establish himself as a starter in these first months of 2023. Proof of that security in his movements could be reflected in the great goal that he scored against Nacional de Paraguay in Lima, which together with that of Corozo gave the ‘brewer’ cast a pass to phase 3 of the Copa Libertadores.
Jhilmar Lora celebrating his great goal against Nacional from Paraguay. (Sporting Cristal)
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