Zambrano hopes to lead Independiente Medellin to Colombian league final


Ecuadorian manager Octavio Zambrano is trying to lead Independiente Medellin to its first final of the year, but his club will have to beat defending champion Deportes Tolima this week in the first leg of the Colombian league semifinals to advance to the championship series.

Independiente will try to win at Atanasio Girardot Stadium in Medellin, a city in northwestern Colombia, on Wednesday.

Zambrano's squad is aiming to beat Deportes Tolima just like it did Atletico Bucaramanga, which Independiente defeated 3-0 at home in the quarterfinals, allowing the club to advance to the semis despite a 2-0 loss in the second leg of the series.

Independiente is unsure of the availability of forward Juan Fernando Caicedo, who missed the Bucaramanga match on Saturday due to a thigh injury.

The medical staff will evaluate Caicedo on Tuesday to determine if he will be able to play on Wednesday.

Independiente Medellin, however, will have Argentine German Cano, the top scorer in the tournament with 17 goals, and midfielder Andres Ricaurte, one of the top players in the Clausura tournament, on the field.

Tolima, for its part, eliminated Independiente Santa Fe on penalties in the second leg of their series.

Tolima will be without Venezuelan winger Luis "Cariaco" Gonzalez, who is playing with his national team and missed the two matches against Santa Fe.

The last time Tolima and Independiente Medellin faced each other was on Sept. 15. Tolima won that match 3-0, thanks to a brace from Marco Perez, who has 16 goals in the tournament, and a penalty kick by Jorge Ramos.

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