A decade ago, Lucas Zelarayán made his appearance in Argentine soccer with the Belgrano de Córdoba jersey. River Plate and Boca Juniors were interested in his services at different times in his career, but the young man emigrated to Tigres de México, where he won seven titles, and was catapulted to the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer (MLS). . This Friday, he delivered a crucial double in Armenia’s first victory in Group D of the Qualifiers heading to the next Euro Cup.
The 30-year-old soccer player was born in Córdoba, but he became an Armenian national because of his roots and now he aspires to get his ticket to the continental competition. It will be a true epic since this country has never played the contest since its independence, since it only did so through the Soviet Union. In that sense, Zelarayán had his consecration performance with his first two goals in this shirt to beat Wales 4-2 as a visitor at Cardiff City Stadium.
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Daniel James put the home team ahead after 10 minutes. But, the team led by Oleksandr Petrakov tied quickly thanks to the Argentine. An overflow from Nair Tiknizyan and a cross back caught the opposition defense off guard and the creative midfielder appeared only to make it 1-1 with a powerful right foot into one of the top corners. At 30 and 66, Grant-Leon Ranos completed the comeback for the visit, but Harry Wilson narrowed the gap.
* Lucas Zelarayán’s first goal
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Three minutes after the discount, another work of art by Zelarrayán arrived. Just before Norberto Briasco was preparing to enter, a loss by Joe Morrell made it possible for Ugochukwu Iwu to recover and assist former Belgrano, who arrived unmarked on the left side and deceived goalkeeper Ward with a shot that slipped past his right spout.
The 30-year-old midfielder had made his debut with this team on October 8, 2021 against Iceland for the World Cup Qualifiers in Qatar and, with this match, reached eight commitments with this country with the detail that he had only contributed one assist since his premiere. It is worth noting that this team is ranked 97th in the FIFA Ranking, behind teams like Luxembourg and Montenegro.
In September of that year, he explained how he made this decision in dialogue with the Armenian Football Federation: “I knew my Armenian roots, but I have not had close relations with the Armenian community in Argentina. That is why I needed time to make this important decision. After discussing everything with my family, I made the decision to join the Armenian national team.”
* Lucas Zelarayán’s second goal
Currently, the player who works in the MLS drags a series of eight goals and six assists in 15 games played within the entity where Guillermo Barros Schelotto and Federico Higuaín, among other Argentines, knew how to play. In addition, he has a contract until December 31, 2024.
His next appointment with Armenia will be this Monday from 1:00 p.m. (Argentine time) against Latvia as a local at the Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium for the fourth date of the Qualifiers. Precisely, that opponent is the bottom of Group D without units, while he follows it with 3 units; Croatia and Wales (4) share the second position and Turkey (6) is the leader. The first two in the area will qualify for the Eurocup based in Germany.
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