Wonderkid Factory | Part 34 | Copa Libertadores Repeats

Envigado FC refocused to dominate yet another half-season in Colombia and overcome a potentially tricky group in their maiden defence of Copa Libertadores. But could they do it all again on both domestic and continental fronts in the second half of 2038?

Copa Libertadores Draw Curse Continues

Just like last year, Envigado won their group only to draw Flamengo in the second round. On the positive side, that went well for them last season. So, amid a slight defensive injury crisis, Lazaró took the same defensive approach into the first leg at Maracana, which worked to an extent as they limited Flamengo to a 3-1 win after being battered by 23 shots to five. However, their impressive home form again saw them through as Edisón Borrrero, Gianfranco Bahoque and player of the match Eder Franco sealed a 3-0 victory.

The quarter-final saw them take on Chilean side Colo-Colo. The first leg was away again and an excellent performance by Mateo Acevedo saw him score twice then lay on the late winner for Jhon Medina. And the second leg was much more straightforward thanks to the excellent Bahoque, who scored a second-half hat-trick to inspire a 4-1 victory and 7-3 aggregate success.

That teed up a third successive semi-final, this time against River Plate, while Internacional and Santos faced off in the other. Envigado came out flying in the home leg as both wingers Acevedo and Cristian Gutiérrez scored inside 18 minutes. Borrero made it three just after the break but River got one back with their only shot on target, and Envigado ran out dominant 3-1 winners. And they were just as good in Argentina as Gutiérrez and Acevedo scored two in three minutes just after the break to seal a 5-2 aggregate success. Envigado were heading back to the Copa Libertadores Final to defend their crown!

“Quadruple Double” Quest Begins

Envigado looked to be having a shaky start to Finalización as they trailed 2-1 to Llaneros. But Lazaró went on the offensive and centre-back and captain Rodolfo Vega headed them level before a late own goal and Acevedo injury-time strike. They took confidence from that amid plenty of rotation, including Borrero scoring a hat trick in a 4-1 win over Bogotá starting with the league’s fastest-ever goal inside 14 seconds and recent academy graduate Aldair Candanoza scoring his first senior goal in a 2-1 win at Tolima.

A Borrero double inspired a 5-0 win at Orsomarso, which took them top for the first time with five games remaining. And they stretched their lead as Borrero repeated the feat in a 4-0 victory at home to Millonarios. That took the striker past 200 league goals for the club, extending his all-time record as the club’s top goalscorer.

They lost at Fortaleza, Acevedo nicked a 1-0 win over Santander then he and Borrero scored in a 2-0 win at Independiente, which secured 1st place with a game remaining. Regardless, a brilliant display saw promising striker Yan de Armas score all four as they hammered Depor FC 4-0.

That saw Envigado given a post-season group with Pereira, Millonarios and América, with all six games played over 11 days! They began with a 1-1 at Millonarios then Vega and Borrero goals defeated them 2-1 at home two days later. Another two days later saw a 3-1 win at Pereira before a 4-1 thumping of América and 5-1 hammering of Pereira led by de Armas’ opener and two Acevedo penalties. And even a fully rotated squad won 4-3 at América with braces from de Armas and winger Juan José Vizcaino.

The Final paired Envigado with Real Santander, against whom they’d won eight of the last nine meetings. But they fell behind just before half-time at Santander, who obviously scored their first shot on target. And patience finally told as, after 21 shots, Borrero scored twice in injury time to earn a deserved 2-1 lead. They also dominated the second leg but only had a late Yaliston Hernández header to show for it in a 1-0 victory.

Envigado won a quadruple double, lifting an 8th successive Liga BetPlay league stage title!!

Copa Libertadores Final Repeat!

For the second time in 12 months, Envigado and Santos went head-to-head in the Copa Libertadores Final. This time 40,000 fans descended on Hernando Siles in La Paz, Bolivia. Lazaró had a clean bill of health so lined up:

Mosquera; Ceballos, Franco, Vega, Belalcazár; Montero, Bahoque; Acevedo, Gutiérrez; Borrero

The first half was pretty forgettable but things got really got going after the break. Santos got a deserved goal after 54 minutes only for Envigado to go down the other end and Borrero flicked the ball on for Bahoque to equalise. Envigado got on top and both sides had decent chances but it ended 1-1 and went to extra-time.

Six minutes into the extra period, a lovely move saw Acevedo and Bahoque combine then Borrero poked home. But Santos went down the other end to immediately make it 2-2. The game seemed to be drifting to penalties until Envigado won a corner in the final minute. Rivas swung the ball to the back post and Vega leaped highest to send a commanding header into the top corner. His teammates piled on top of him as he sent the Envigado fans into hysterics – and his manager piled on the defensive tactics. And it worked as the seconds ticked away for a 3-2 Envigado victory.

Envigado defended Copa Libertadores and were Champions of South America again!!

Another Stunning Season For Envigado

Borrero and Acevedo both scored 41 goals this season, but Acevedo got 13 assists to Borrero’s eight. The impressive de Armas got 19 goals and three assists in 32 games while Bahoque scored 15 and got 14 assists from midfield. But Yelkin Montero was arguably among their most important players as he topped the club’s assists chart with 18, followed by Gutiérrez’s 16 and Rivas and Vizcaino’s 15.

This was another remarkable season at Envigado and the question on everyone’s lips was: could Lazaró continue to work miracles with this young homegrown group of players?

The continued league success moved Lazaró and Envigado just two behind Millonarios’ all-time record of 20 Liga BetPlay Dimayor titles. So that was very much the target for a man now considered the second-best South American coach of all time.

Could they match Millonarios’ all-time record in 2039? Join us on Friday to find out!


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