‘Cremas’ will clash against ‘celestes’ next Monday, April 24 from 8:30 p.m. in Peru. (Photo: Composition Infobae)
With one foot more outside than inside the 2023 Copa Libertadores, Sporting Cristal is already thinking about its next rival: Universitario de Deportes. For their part, those led by Jorge Fossati are living a great football moment, both in Liga 1 and in the Copa Sudamericana, as they have just scored a valuable point against Goiás, which allowed them to be leaders of Group G.
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Last Friday, April 21, the student body returned to training in the afternoon, with the aim of preparing in the best way and arriving in optimal conditions for the most important duel of the day.
Those of Ate start with an advantage in the record of matches against the ‘celestial’, since they have accumulated 75 victories to their credit against 67 for the ‘rimenses’. However, this would not be an indicator for Cristal because the last times they met were the ‘merengues’ have not achieved a victory.
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Last season the ‘U’ was very close to becoming the winner of the Clausura Tournament and playing in the final of the Peruvian championship after nine years. However, this did not come to fruition because instead of adding three against those from Rímac, they could only get a draw, a result that left them out of the race.
Cristal vs Universitario: match at the National Stadium on date 15 of the Closing Tournament of Liga 1 2022.
Sporting Cristal has not known what a defeat against Universitario is for more than four years. The last time the ‘cream’ cast managed to beat them was on October 30, 2018 with goals from Alberto Quintero and Germán Denis.
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The Panamanian attacker made it 1-1 after Marcos López’s initial goal. Minutes later, the ‘tank’ Denis would be in charge of giving the ‘creams’ victory from 12 steps, sealing a comeback and obtaining three key points.
Said victory meant a lot to Universitario de Deportes, which at that time was in the fight not to lose the category. Meanwhile, Sporting Cristal was proclaimed champion and won the national title again, being the most winning team in Peruvian soccer in the last 10 years.
In the 2019 season, both teams met twice and in none of them could differences be drawn. The first match ended 0-0 and the second 1-1. By 2020, they tied 2-2 the first time they met, after that, Cristal was reunited with the victory against the ‘merengues’ by the minimum.
In the match for the final of the 2020 season, the ‘celestial’ squad took the win and became champion after a tight 3-2 overall (2-1 and 1-1). In 2021, the results were the same: a draw at two and a new ‘bajopontina’ victory.
A year later, the score was again equalized by 1-1 and 0-0, respectively. This season, it is expected that one of the teams will seek to end this losing streak, even more so Universitario, which has not been able to celebrate against Cristal for more than four years. There is no doubt that both ‘creams’ and ‘rimenses’ promise a high-intensity match.
Emanuel Herrera and Horacio Calcaterra, players who arrived at Universitario de Deportes to face the 2023 season, know very well who they will face next Monday, April 24 for the 13th date of the Opening Tournament starting at 8:30 p.m. at the Monumental stadium facilities of Ate.
Both wore the ‘blue’ shirt for several years, the forward did so in 2018, 2019 and 2020, becoming the top scorer in the local tournament. While the midfielder, who had the opportunity to lead the team by wearing the captain’s ribbon, did the same from 2013 to 2022.
Emanuel Herrera and Horacio Calcaterra were together at Sporting Cristal from 2018 to 2020. (Photo: Liga 1)