Viva la Velez – Copa ARGENTINA!!!


Welcome back to Viva la Velez, hope you have read and more importantly enjoyed the 1st post published last week, if you haven’t yet read it I would suggest taking a look before diving into this piece….. We Have Landed

This piece is a little different, my time at Velez so far has been very short but already I’m making an impact on the club. We have had a fantastic start in the league as you will already know and to add to that we have reached our first ever Copa Argentina FINAL.

I started my time at Velez with us already into the 5th round on the cup but there was still a long way to go with some impressive teams left in the hat.

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Club Atletico Banfield are also in the Argentine Premier Division along with ourselves they are struggling in the league and is shown in the cup. We put 3 past them and if I’m completely honest it could have been more. An early goal from our wonder kid Vargas settled any nerves but only a minute later they back level at 1 apiece. We pushed hard till half-time but they were defending really well, But on the 52nd minute, Luis Amarilla slotted home to give us a goal lead. The youngster Thiago Almada then ended the game on the 82nd minute with a great goal from range give us the 3-1 victory.

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Argentine Premier Division team Club De Gimnasia was a game I went into with huge confidence. I placed a weaker team out but a team sure of beating them at the time their form was terrible and we had players moaning for first team football so this was my chance to introduce them along with some young players I wanted to look closer at. The game was the most boring game I have witnessed in Football Manager a 1st-minute own goal seen us creep through. The performance my players put out was never in a million years a winning performance but that lucky own goal had me thinking luck is certainly on our side and can we go all the way?

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The 7th round was upon us and now I was starting to believe our team had enough to reach the final and I knew if we can miss Boca Jrs each round out the hat we had a chance of getting there. Godoy Cruz is a team in the relegation zone at this point and really struggling to score goals so I decided to again put a slightly weaker team out with a real attacking intent. We took the game right to them from the whistle just like I had asked and within 2 minutes, Vargas once again delivering the goods with a tap in. The 21st minute struck and so did Godoy Cruz with a wonder goal which we really couldn’t do anything about a superb strike put them on level terms. The dressing room was buzzing at halftime we had played really well and attacked well but it was 1-1 I told the lads to keep doing what you are doing the goals will come and that we did a 77th-minute goal from Salinas gave us the lead. The last 10 minutes of the game we struck twice with Mainero and Galdames, These 2 had a fantastic game which resulted in league starts for them both.

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San Martin came out the hat and again another team struggling in the Premier division so far the draw had been very kind to us and I was feeling great about this competition the team morale was high and the football we were playing was very good and positive just like I wanted. The players before this game were super nervous and the media all week was asking me your team look in great form in reaching the final, Deep down I was believing we could get there. I played a strong team for this game I wanted to take no chances especially it being a Quarterfinal and most of these young players had yet to experience one. I added 30-year-old Diaz in at right back for the experience to help our young defence stay focused in the big game! On the 9th minute, we had the lead, of course, Vargas producing more cup magic with a great strike, I then played a more cautious game plan and it worked wonderfully and on the 85th minute, we secured our 2nd goal with Ramis heading home from a corner. I was really believing in this cup run.

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Independiente our hardest challenger’s yet I was just so happy we didn’t get Boca Jrs any team but them was a result. This was no easy task they were sitting 3rd in the League and we had just lost to them in the Premier Division 2-1 due to a 93rd minute winning goal from them. Their confidence was ultra high and my young team was feeling the nerves we did a lot of team bonding and tactic work in training leading up to this game with a hint of set-piece work. Our defence had a super game in keeping a clean sheet I was so proud of this young team and on the 45th minute, Robertone hit a 25-yard free-Kick right in the top corner. The attacking play had been poor first half but I set up cautiously in a 442 I just didn’t want to concede it would be too hard to come back Vs a solid team, As the second half went on we came under a lot of pressure but held our ground tremendously well the final whistle had been blown we had reached the FINAL!!

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I knew if we were to reach the final it would be against the powerhouses Boca Jrs already 9 points clear top of the league and they just don’t lose games. I had to be honest with myself we needed to be on the very top of our game and for them to have an off day if we were to lift the trophy. I was so proud of this young team on reaching a final in my first season in charge and it gave us confidence in the league as well, The fans were loving it and the media couldn’t stop praising us.

There was a 2-week gap between the Semi-Final and the Final due to an international break so I gave the players a 4 day rest period and set up the training for their return. I knew we had to be solid defensively to have any chance so we trained hard on that along with match tactics and set pieces, My thinking was set pieces was something we needed to make the most of.  We are yet to play Boca in the league so this would be the first showdown of my time in charge Versus the powerhouses. A win here doesn’t just see us lift the trophy but hands us a place in the Copa Libertadores, This is huge.

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This is how I lined up for the Final, Laso my main Centre back was suspended a huge blow for me but he was replaced with Giannetti. Bouzat on the right is hit and miss this season and rotated with Mainero but with this being Bouzat old club it’s written for a 90th-minute winner from him, isn’t it?

A cautious mentality was the way to go this game and it’s what we prepared in training no game in 2 weeks for either side I think would play to our advantage.

A crazy 1st half was pretty even no team had a clear chance but Boca did score a deflection which was ever so lucky but we kept our cool and matched them and on 45th minute they had a man SENT OFF! This completely changed my team talk at halftime yes we were losing but now this gave us a chance to make the dream come reality. The second half even against 10 men we were second best they are just so good and so quick attacking we weren’t at the races, 65th minute 2-0 down. The 2nd goal gave us a kick up the ass and we played a lot better from then on and pulled one back on the 93rd minute but it was too little too late the better team had won.

Boca Jrs 2 Vs 1 Velez    

A final in my first season was something myself and my players could be immensely proud of its something we can build on and take into the league fixtures and we do have another cup this season!

Thank you for reading hope you like this little bonus post the league updates will roll out as normal. The save is great fun Argentina was 100% the right choice for Football Manager 2019.





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