Atlético have won their first of three friendlies in Colombia.
In Bogota, at the El Campín stadium, Millonarios were beaten 2-1.
Next up are games at América (Cali) on the 19th and Atlético Huila (Neiva) on the 22nd.
Wednesday’s game was all about Radamel Falcao, the Colombian superstar who played for Millonarios as a kid. It took El Tigre less than 20 seconds to get his first shot off, as he nearly gave Atleti the lead in the very first minute of the game.
In the fifth minute there was no stopping Falcao however, as he scored an absolutely fantastic bicycle kick. Our topscorer controlled a pass by Koke on his chest and spectacularly hit the ball over his head before it came down. If Colombia wasn’t already under the spell of their super striker then surely this goal scored on home soil will have elevated Falcao’s status to national hero.
Los Millos may have been underdogs, but they weren’t willing to just roll over in front of their home crowd. The Bogotans played offensive football, but lacked finesse to break down the Atleti defence, although shortly before the break they came close to equalizing. A low drive by Cosme seemed certain to go in, but Sergio Asenjo showed he hasn’t forgotten how to stop shots and saved with his feet.
Diego Simeone used the second half to bring on several substitutes, and with a lack of intensity our performance worsened. Millonarios grew into the game and had some opportunities to score. But in the 77th minute it was Koke, one of Atleti’s better players, who decided the game. The young midfielder was on the end of a beautiful attack by Atleti, which included a backheel by Pedro Martín for the final assist. From the edge of the box Koke calmly, but assuredly, slotted the ball past goalkeeper Nelson Ramos.
Late on Millonarios did something back when they were awarded a cheap penalty. Asenjo managed to stop the spot kick, but the rebound was scored by Matías Urbano.
Line-up: Asenjo; Perea (“46 Juanfran), Godín, Domínguez, Filipe; Assunção, Gabi (“60 Mario); Salvio (“46 Adrián), Koke, Arda (“60 Diego); and Falcao (“48 Pedro).
Goals: 0-1 Falcao (“5); 0-2 Koke (“77); 1-2 Matías Urbano p.k. (“84)