For the second consecutive edition, a representative team from Colombia is left with the runner-up of the Copa Libertadores Femenina.
The Copa Libertadores Femenina is one of the quintessential tournaments that serves as a showcase for many players to show their talent and thus make the leap to Europe. Photo: independentsantafe.com
LatinAmerican Post| Theoscar Mogollón
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2021 has given us hundreds of emotions with women's football and more at the South American level. The Copa Libertadores Femenina is one of the quintessential tournaments that serves as a showcase for many players to show their talent and thus make the leap to Europe. And it is that for this last edition, representatives of Brazil and Colombia once again demonstrated that they are the pioneers of the beautiful sport in this category.
It is no secret to anyone that in Brazilian territory soccer is lived with passion and therefore their teams tend to reach -almost always- the finals of the different cups. However, at the female level, the great evolution of Colombian clubs has been noted, which has left very good impressions in the Copa Libertadores since 2018. It is worth remembering that in that year Atlético Huila was crowned champion after defeating Santos de Brazil, thus giving Colombia great joy for that first title.
For 2019, the focus of attention was taken by América de Cali after finishing that tournament in the third position. The good performance of the Scarlets was repeated in the 2020 edition -which was played in March 2021 due to the pandemic issue-, where they faced Ferroviária de Brasil in the final and fell 2-1 despite dominating much of the commitment. Although the trophy was once again elusive, the level of Colombian women's football continued to grow by leaps and bounds.
Independiente Santa Fe, another great representative
During the month of November, there was another edition of the Copa Libertadores Femenina, this time-based in Paraguay and Uruguay only for the final. The representatives of Colombia were Deportivo Cali and Independiente Santa Fe, champion and runner-up of the Betplay Dimayor Women's League respectively. Both teams in the group stage had no major problems and thanks to their good football they qualified for the quarterfinals. Everything seemed to indicate that in the semifinals they were going to say present, but the Caleñas were surprised by Nacional from Uruguay.
Those who demonstrated a great collective game that made an entire country excited were those led by the technical director Albeiro Erazo. Drawn in Group A, they defeated Deportivo Cuenca and Sol de América, while a draw against Ferroviária placed them second. The undefeated remained in the quarterfinals and semifinals, scenarios where Brazilian clubs were measured and later eliminated in the penalty shootout: Kindermann-Avaí and, once again, Ferroviária. Without a doubt, they had everything they needed to win the final against Corinthians.
Santa Fe started the commitment better and imposed conditions in the opening minutes, even having a great opportunity to open the scoring with a shot that hit the crossbar. However, the Brazilians took advantage of the only two arrivals to the opposite area to beat the nets of Katherine Tapia, a goalkeeper who shone in the penalty shoot-outs in previous games, stopping up to three shots. For the second half, the Lionesses advanced lines and tried to impose their game, but despite the dominance, the dangerous actions never came and the 2-0 gave the trophy to Corinthians.
At an individual level, the performances of Diana Celis, Joemar Guarecuco, Liana Salazar, and captain Fany Gauto, who played an important role in a team with character and who have known how to face decisive matches in recent years, can be highlighted. Although they failed to conquer glory in this Copa Libertadores Femenina, the future of the Bogota women is promising thanks to the ability of their coaching staff when planning. And it is that sooner or later, Colombian football will once again celebrate a continental title at the women's level.
The competitiveness of Colombian women's football
If there is a reason why Brazilian teams have dominated the Copa Libertadores Femenina, it is because of their competitiveness, something that football has also shown in Colombia. But that has not been an easy task, since both the local tournament and the cup itself are usually very short and the key to success is due to the incessant work of their teams. In recent years, Colombian clubs not only have among their objectives to win the league but also to stand out in the international tournament, a mentality that puts them above the rest of the countries.
Putting together a competitive team is already common in the coffee territory, so having an important base of good players in each position, in addition to bringing category reinforcements, makes the local league an attractive tournament. Talent has always been present and Colombia does not stop training prestigious footballers. Let's not forget that consolidating women's football is an important step and only in this way will the desired results begin to arrive. Can any Colombian team lift the Copa Libertadores Femenina in 2022?