Cibao FC and Club Atlético Pantoja, used to meeting in the final of the Dominican Football League, have an appointment in the semifinal stage this Sunday at 6:00 in the afternoon, at the Félix Sánchez stadium in Santo Domingo.
Cibaeños and capitaleños are the two most winning clubs in Dominican professional football, exhibiting national titles and Caribbean Cups, in addition to having two of the main goalkeepers in Miguel Lloyd and Odalis Báez.
The winner will go to the last stage in a series that will be unprecedented, since his rival has never been in the final, whether Atlético Vega Real or his neighbor from Jarabacoa FC win that semifinal.
Technician seeks health
For the Cibao FC technical director, the match “It will be difficult, like each of us who have played with them, where obviously the results speak for themselves and the parity and demand that has always existed between the two teams are evident”
He said that each rival who has their own history playing this type of distance, a semifinal with everything that the situation entails and obviously you must compete with intelligence to be able to overcome the series.
“Our players are all available and ready for the game, in that sense we are fine,” he said.
He added that “mental strength is an important virtue, which is why we hope to reach one hundred percent on that side, it is an aspect that I value even more than the physicality of the players”
“We have worked very well on the psychological aspect of our player all the way, we have a department for it, and we hope to arrive strong, which is what worries me even more than the physical and current health.
Asked about opening the series as a visitor, Alfonso said that Cibao FC is capable of having good results away from home, and has shown it throughout 2021, “it is not something that worries me too much.”
Alfonso was asked to give an opinion on Pantoja and said that “they have their characteristics. Against they hit well, they are one of the best in that sense, and surely they will not change that, they have good ball handling, and they can be flexible, above all they defend themselves well by closing internal spaces, that is what they have done all the time. time, in four matches and I don’t think they will make many changes ”.
“They have a semi-final context and the psychological also plays, so they will have a plus in the soccer player’s mentality, which is why it will be necessary to see who is stronger in that sense.
Having finished with two defeats does not worry Jorge Alfonso, “my main concern has always been the health of the footballers, not having Julio Murillo for example or not having 100 percent everyone, and we have overcome that “
“I do not look at the past, if I did I would not be left with those two defeats, but I would look at all the extraordinary that we have done throughout the season.”
This is how they have played this year
The orange team and the Warriors have met four times this season, divided into two in the regular round and the same number in the Liguilla.
Cibao with the backing of Banreservas and Grupo Rica won the first challenge 2-o on May 9, with goals from Jean Carlos López at minute 36 and Yony Angulo at minute 45.
They met again on June 27, but neither Cibao FC nor Pantoja managed to score goals and only added one point from a 0-0 draw.
The two eleven players met for the first time in the Liguilla on August 28, leaving the match tied at 1-1, with Kelvin Tejada scoring at minute 14 for Pantoja and Jean Carlos López at 90 + 4 for Cibao FC.
Pantoja managed to emerge with flying colors when they will meet for the second time in the Liguilla and took a 2-0 victory on September 24, counting on goals from Juan David Díaz and Josué Báez.
The orange team easily won the regular series with a sum of 44 points and then qualified second in the Liguilla with 17 points, one less than Atlético Vega Real and one more than Pantoja.
Prior to the Sunday clash, the first match of the semifinal between Jarabacoa and Vega Real will be played, a meeting that will be on Saturday at 4:00 in the afternoon, in the Junior Mejía of the La Montaña team.
The winner of the semifinal between the two eleven Vega Real and Jarabacoa, will be for the first time in a final of the Dominican Soccer League.