Junior de Barranquilla, encouraged by their recent win in the Colombian league and with striker Teofilo Gutierrez in the lineup, traveled on Sunday to Curitiba, Brazil, where later this week they will play in the second leg of the South American Cup final against Atletico Paranaense.
Junior and Atletico Paranaense will take the field on Wednesday to decide who will be the champion of South America’s secondary club tournament.
In the first leg of the series, played last Wednesday in Barranquilla, Junior battled their rivals to a 1-1 draw, which gives the Brazilians an advantage and forces the Colombians to row against the current, although Paranaense is confident that they will triumph on Sunday and secure the Copa trophy, which would be Junior’s first international title if they manage to pull out the win.
Coached by Colombian-Uruguayan Julio Avenlino Comesaña, the team arrived in Curitiba, the capital of Brazil’s southern Parana state, about midday on Sunday.
In contrast to the first leg match, played in Barranquilla’s Joaquim Americo Guimaraes stadium, Junior will have Gutierrez in the lineup, a striker who - because if his superior technical ability - is considered to be the team’s top player.
Comesañ will also have young defender Gabriel Fuentes in the lineup, although he did not play in the first leg either after his expulsion during the semifinal match against Santa Fe.
Junior, which bases its offensive power on the trident made up of Tee, Jarlan Barrera and Luis Diaz, will also have Victor Cantillo, James Sanchez and Luis Narvaez on the pitch.
The Colombian squad must return to the city of Medellin immediately after next Wednesday’s match, where they will play in the Colombian league final next Sunday.