In Luis Amaranto Perea’s last night in red and white, los Rojiblancos defeated Atlético Huila 3-1 at the Guillermo Plazas Alcid Stadium in Neiva.
Eduardo Salvio’s star shined bright as the Argentine striker bagged a brace in Tuesday evening’s affair.
First half goals by “Toto” and Sílvio, both assisted by Diego, had our Europa League champions cruising to their third straight victory in their final friendly in Colombia.
The game went into the half 2-0 in favour of Diego Simeone’s men.
‘El Cholo’ replaced the departing Perea – who served as captain from the start of proceedings – with Atleti youth product Kader during the break, thus ending the Colombian defender’s illustrious eight-year spell at the club.
Shortly after the second half kicked off though, Miranda committed a foul in our own penalty box.
Atlético’s lead was reduced to 2-1 when yet another penalty call went against us (there has been one called against us in all three of our encounters on Colombian soil), as Huila’s Digno Javier González converted the spot kick in the 48th minute.
The Neiva-based outfit began picking up steam after the hour mark, but a couple of great saves by Sergio Asenjo kept our slim lead intact.
Huila came close to netting the equaliser around the 73rd minute, but the home team’s shot careened off the post.
On the ensuing Colchonero counter-attack, Atleti put the matter to rest with a sensational header by Salvio.
The 21-year-old brilliantly finished a cross by Kader to restore our two-goal margin.
With the triumph, los Rojiblancos end their three-game Colombia tour undefeated with three straight wins.
Unfortunately, Antonio López was unable to don the red and white stripes one last time, while playmaker Diego’s stint with us likely came to a close as well on Tuesday.
Native idol Radamel Falcao did not play a single minute, to the deep disappointment of the home fans who after having chanted ‘El Tigre’s’ name early on, ended up booing the forward and chanting “We’ve been robbed, we’ve been robbed!”–many having attended the event only to catch a glimpse of the lethal attacker on the pitch.
Line-up: Asenjo; Sílvio (“66 Pizzi), Miranda, Perea (“46 Kader), Pulido; Koke (“77 Fran Mérida), Assunçao (“46 Pedro); Thomas (“55 Gabi), Diego (“79 Tiago), Filipe; Salvio
Goals: 0-1 Salvio (“34); 0-2 Sílvio (“44); 1-2 González (P)(“48); 1-3 Salvio (“74)