Jesús Oropesa, coach of Unión Comercio: “Ayacucho FC has great players and a coach who is an ‘old fox'”

Oropesa is an ‘old fox’ of this kind of definitions, so he has already studied Edgar Ospina’s team in detail, which he will face in round-trip matches, in Tarapoto – this Sunday – and Ayacucho (November 13) , respectively. Unión Comercio, which fought inch by inch for the title of League 2 with Cusco FC, wants to return to the First Division after four years. “We must secure the key in our land”, he told Depor, in the preview of this decisive duel.

Coaches and players agree that in a revalidation match there is more tension and nervousness than in one for the title. Do you think the same?

Each game has a different flavor. For example, the responsibility of maintaining the category, fighting for a championship or going downhill, all these situations are definitely different. All the objectives always have to try to fulfill them.

Unión Comercio played its last game on September 18, when it thrashed Comerciantes Unidos 4-0. Do you think the team suffers after almost a month and a half without official competition?

Everything has pros and cons. But we are not here to lament, but to face what touches us. We have made a work plan according to the calendar schedule. We always seek to play friendlies against League 1 teams, but it was not possible. Not because of us, but because the League 1 teams had a lot of participation and some were fighting for the title or a place in an international tournament. They didn’t want to risk it. We took the option of what we had at hand. We have faced a team from League 2, led by José Soto, and we also played two games with the Under 20 team. Now we just have to be ready for this duel that can be summed up in 180 minutes.

You recently commented that in Unión Comercio innovative technological systems were applied to study the rival, tell us more about it…

Today there are platforms that help you analyze rival teams. We have a video analyst who helps us in that aspect, we saw not only Ayacucho, because Carlos Stein, Cantolao, Sport Boys and San Martín were also on the radar. This allowed us to see and analyze not only collective situations, but also individual ones. As for Ayacucho, we have drawn conclusions that allowed us to discover its strengths and take advantage of its weaknesses.

What to say about Ayacucho FC? Which players concern you the most?

Ayacucho raised a lot in recent weeks with the arrival of Edgar Ospina. We know that he has players with a lot of experience, that he often plays with two points up, that his exits are direct. Soccer happens a lot for (Robert) Ardiles and (Cristian) Techera. You have to be careful because he has strengths in the air and in set pieces.

Many people do not know their squad because League 2 was not televised. Apart from the Argentine striker Sergio Almirón, what other players do you have to watch…

We don’t have a player who stands out because we are a squad, and that was rescued from Unión Comercio. When we make variants, the team continues to work the same. I also rescue the sacrifice of each one of my players. Mentioning one in particular would be disrespectful to others.

Taking into account that Unión Comercio did not achieve very favorable results in high-altitude cities in League 2, with only one win in five games, are you worried about visiting Ayacucho?

I think it went well for us. We rescued a point from Puno (against Alfonso Ugarte). Then against Cusco FC for going to look for the victory we paid dearly in the second half. Later in Andahuaylas (against Chankas) we lost 2-1, but always with the possibility of winning the match and still with one man less. I don’t think it went bad for us. We have not been lucky, the response has always been good.

Unión Comercio won all its home games in League 2, is the victory in the first leg key to fight for the key?

We must secure the key in our land. Hopefully God allows us the chance to get a significant goal margin in the first leg, that’s the idea.

You are considered “the promotion specialist”, as you did it with Atlético Grau, Atlético Minero and Alianza Atlético. What do you see in Unión Comercio to think that another one can be given?

It would be a great joy if I get my fourth promotion in a row. It would be something that rarely happened. As far as the team is concerned, I think the games have to be played, they are always different. At the helm we will have a high-ranking rival, from League 1, we have a lot of respect for him, but I am sure that like any rival he is winnable. Ayacucho has important players and a coach who is an old fox.

Do you know Edgar Ospina?

I don’t have the chance to meet him, but I did face him when I directed Atlético Minero and he directed Aviación. I got out of two games with flying colors. We qualified for the next stage of Copa Peru. I know that he is an experienced manager, he knows a lot, and he almost always did well in the teams that he was on.

Was he left with the uneasiness of not reaching the direct ticket? They fought inch by inch for first place all year with Cusco FC…

There will always be the distaste of not ascending directly. But that is already in the experience. Now we are in another stage, think fast and fight for the chance of revalidation.

It was meritorious because Cusco FC had a First Division squad and very important financial support…

Yes. The value of three Cusco FC players covered our entire squad. It was a squad that was prepared to win League 1, beyond what happened later with the TAS. With us the difference is very short. If Cusco had not been, we would ascend directly. We always had to dance with the ugliest, and today is no exception.

Being a broad connoisseur of the Second Division, how did you see the organization and level of League 2 this year?

Every year the Second is improving, it has an ascending line in sports. But there are always drawbacks with the order of payments. For example, Sport Chavelines shouldn’t even have participated, because they had problems last year and the current year with that issue.

What do you think that the Peru Cup no longer has direct promotion?

The Peru Cup at the time fed a lot of Peruvian football. Going to a final in the 60s, 70s or 80s, was to witness the festival of provincial football. Going to triples at the National Stadium and seeing players from the north, south, mountains or the east, was something very nice. But there were issues that made them take away this right and surely with good reason.

As for the outcome of League 1, which team do you see as champion?

He is well fought. Because if Melgar recovers the level he had in the Apertura, he will be a very tough rival for Sporting Cristal and Alianza Lima. This year will be a final of gunpowder, the three for me have chances to the national championship. That is good for Peruvian soccer. But I would like them to transfer that level to international tournaments.

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Jesús Oropesa, coach of Unión Comercio: “Ayacucho FC has great players and a coach who is an ‘old fox'”


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