Hulk steals the show for Atlético with match-winning brace against América de Cali in the Libertadores
Atlético finally claimed their first win in the Copa Libertadores. After a first half with no real clear cut chance, Galo returned better in the second half to claim a much needed 2-1 win against América de Cali on Tuesday night. It was all thanks to the introduction of veteran forward Hulk.
After Hulk’s public complaint asking for more game time, the striker was only on the bench for the Atlético starting lineup.
Manager Cuca preferred to go with Jefferson Savarino, deploying the forward from the right flan. However, Hulk came on for the start of the second half and took Vargas’s place, although playing as a center forward.
In that position, he stole the show and bagged a brace in the space of four minutes. He won a penalty and put Atlético in the lead in the 59th minute. In the 63rd minute, he capped off a beautiful play with another goal via an assist from Savarino’s heel pass.
América pulled one back in the 77th minute but the hosts did enough to hold on to their lead and secure the win.
Speaking after the game, Hulk said: “Football is that. Every day is a new story. Right after my interview, I went back to saying that it was nothing for Professor Cuca, who, as I said, I respect too much. I was willing to charge myself, I charge myself too much. I entered, I helped my teammates and we conquered the goal, which was victory. Now we have to focus on the decisive game we have over the weekend “.
For their next outing, Atlético-MG will travel on Saturday as they take on Tombense in the first leg of the semifinal of the Campeonato Mineiro. On Tuesday next week, Galo welcomes Cerro Porteño to their home turf, for the third fixture of the Libertadores group stage.