Lisandro Lopez is 39 years old. The data puts him in a particular place: at his age, the logical thing would be that his retirement from professional football had already been completed. Or, at least, let it be the imminent season. But he, like so many of his generation who continue to resist, seems to stop time. Get to see the videos of the two goals he scored against Lanús, in Sarmiento’s triumph by 2-1 in Junín, to take dimension of its validity.
Two shots from the right, two fast and accurate resolutions, where the majority is cloudy: the rival area. Two more celebrations, to raise his scoring quota to 4 goals in 11 games in the current Professional League. And one more ovation from the public that enjoys having such a player in Junín like this, suddenly. It is that nobody in Sarmiento imagined a year ago that such a striker was going to play in a team whose main objective is to maintain the category.
The contingency brought him closer: being close to his mother’s home (Lisandro was born in Rafael Obligado, very close to Junín) made him decide to leave Racing, where he is an idol and will one day be a statue: 53 goals in 160 games and a league title erected. Also in lyonswhere Olympique has him a prominent place in the gallery of illustrious, and in portothe Portuguese club in which he shone and was a repeat scorer.
licha, low profile cultist in his entire career, he has no references to his career on the walls of his house. He does not want Guadalupe, his daughter, to get carried away by trophies nor photos of the father pointing to his temple, typical of their celebrations. She wants to be the father, like any of Guada’s classmates. And Mechi’s partner, the mother (daughter of Víctor Blanco, president of Racing).
When he left the lawn of the Eva Perón stadium, Sarmiento was leading 2-0. They were 15 minutes into the second half, and he ran for Javier Toledo to enter. Then, the ovation washed over him again, like he does every time he enters the court. He lived the rest of the game with his jacket on, sitting on the substitutes bench, nervous after the discount of Lanús, a bombardment of Aguirre that deviated in Sauro before sneaking into the local goal.
In the end, not without some suffering, Sarmiento celebrated a victory that makes it even more valuable that of last Sunday against River, when he beat him for the first time at the Monumental. It is that Israel Damonte, the DT, had emphasized that: it is always difficult to win after such a resounding victory. A certain relaxation is usually treacherous. But this team is not for distractions: it needs to keep adding to escape from the red zone of the averages. For now, it’s out… And, from so much rowing to stay afloat, it’s intermingled in the qualifying zone for the 2023 South American Cup.
Although that would be a dessert that, for now, nobody wants to imagine. Much less Lisandro López, the captain, a full-time professional who has already put his body to work for what follows: visiting Huracán, on Friday, at Parque Patricios.
Argentina has six places for the Copa Libertadores 2023. Boca has already obtained the first ticket for having won the Professional League Cup. The champion of the 2022 Tournament will qualify directly. The same will be achieved by the team that wins the Argentine Cup. The remaining places will be obtained by the first three teams in the annual general table, which includes the points obtained in the group stage of the LPF Cup (13 games) and the 2021 tournament (total: 40 games). In this case, the third team will access the Repechage of the Cup.
Meanwhile, another six teams will go to the South American 2023, which will come out of that same general table and will be the six located after those classified for the Copa Libertadores. If a team already classified by another instance is repeated, the place will be for the next group of this same table.