The players and fans of Instituto achieved a very strong relationship that has been key in the season. (Photo: Institute Press)
Alta Córdoba, New Italy… Buenos Aires, San Luis; Córdoba will live a weekend with a unique, historical and difficult to repeat adrenaline charge. Expected, longed for and full of tension. Instituto and Racing will play a large part of their future in the next 48 hours. Fans of both institutions have been waiting for this moment for years.
The ‘Academia’ will play, in a single match, the final of Federal A, while the ‘Gloria’ will start the final key of the Reduced of the First National. Two games, two places, where popular clubs in the city will face a deserved instance that hopes to be crowned with two promotions.
First step to illusion
“… that Gloria is a carnival, and we are going to turn around…”, it is a hit that sounds and sounds. And again. “La Gloria is going to return…” That wish made into a song is 180 minutes away from coming true; and this time there are strong arguments to believe that it is not just an illusion.
Institute starts this Saturday, from 8:10 p.m., the final of the Reduced final of the First National. Those led by Lucas Bovaglio will meet at Caseros against Estudiantes de Buenos Aires and next weekend they will close the series at the Monumental. In the previous one, the nerves, the tension and the hope are playing their game, because Instituto was second in the regular phase behind the champion Belgrano and in the Reduced they became strong against the surprising Defensores de Belgrano. El Albirrojo showed defensive solidity, pragmatism in midfield and offensive power, virtues that he had exhibited throughout the tournament.
Instituto has 23 games without local defeats and defines the series next weekend in Alta Córdoba.
That’s how he got to the final. The numbers of the Bovaglio cast show that in 38 games they won 20 games, tied twelve and had only 6 losses in the season.
While the ‘Pincha’ of Caseros played 40 games in the season, with 20 wins, 9 draws and 11 losses. Keep in mind that those led by Walter Otta played the entire Reduced with pure victories: 3-0 to Chaco For Ever, 1-0 to Estudiantes de Rio Cuarto, and 1-0 and 1-0 to Gimnasia de Mendoza.
The history of this duel dates back to date 21 of this season, in Alta Córdoba. It was a hard-fought, vibrant game that was defined towards the end with a goal from ‘Vikingo’ Parnisari for 1-0.
A cycle that takes more than three years of successes, triumphs, good game, records and reunions. That is Racing de Nueva Italia and that is intended to be crowned on Sunday, when from 4:45 p.m. it will face Villa Miter de Bahía Blanca in the unique final of Federal A. “Old and glorious Academy, with an unparalleled heart, the band thanks you and he encourages you until the end…”, that anthem of Miguel Sancho will resound loudly at the Parque La Pedrera Stadium, in Villa Mercedes, San Luis.
The cast led by Carlos Bossio is making a campaign. ‘Chiquito’ took over from ‘Tota’ Medina, maintained her identity, added her details and put together a tremendous team. It is that the albiceleste team made a mark of the good game, being aggressive offensively; but one of its main characteristics is its defensive power. So much so that he has gone 313 minutes without conceding, and has not lost for ten games. He arrives at this duel against the Bahienses more than tuned.
Although beware: Villa Miter also arrives at this instance with laurels; in addition to leaving his classic, Olimpo, on the road in the semifinals.
Racing achieved a historic record in Córdoba: 41 games without losing at home.
And another fact that adds a special seasoning to the final in San Luis is that the two losers of last year’s finals face each other. Racing had fallen to Deportivo Madryn and Villa Miter to Güemes. For both it will be a rematch.
An endless tournament. Long, tiring, exhausting, with thousands of kilometers traveled. A tournament that seems very, very, unfair; since, of the 34 participating teams, only one ascends. And, also, at the same time, it is very exciting and emotional.
To take into account on Sunday: if at the end of the 90 regulation minutes the match is even, promotion will be defined with kicks from the penalty spot.
It will be Racing’s fifth final since 2015 to date, of which it won two and lost two. The fifth hopes to be with victory, the dream destination is the First National.
I followed the development of this news and others
in the print edition of La Nueva Mañana
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Córdoba finalist with the Bovaglio Institute and Racing de Nueva Italia