Millonarios Under 20 – Match Report vs. Peñarol Under 20 (06/02/2022)

Millonarios lost against Peñarol in the opening match of the Copa Libertadores U20. The Colombian side lacked quality to progress the ball into the final third and did not create many chances. They set up in a 4-4-2 and had a possession-based style, led by Nicolas Arevalo, but when they got near the box of Peñarol they often lost the ball.

Youth Ratings

1 – Ready for the first team
2 – Good, potential to be first team
3 – Decent, could make first team squad
4 – Decent potential, unlikely to make it to first team
5 – Unlikely to make first team

Samuel Bello

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Colombian
  • Age: 17
  • Date of birth: 28/01/2005
  • Club: Millonarios
  • Career: Millonarios
  • Position: Right-Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Samuel Bello played as Millonarios’s right-back in the opening match of the Copa Libertadores U20 against Uruguayan giants Peñarol. Standing at ~185cm, Bello sometimes seemed to struggle to use his body in the right way. Receiving knee-high passes was an issue for Bello, as he could not deal with those properly. In his dribbling he also seemed to struggle with his footwork, as he sometimes struggled to take the ball with him when trying to take on his opponent. Samuel Bello liked to carry the ball inside when he came into possession while sticking close to the sideline and usually went for the simple pass back to one of the two central defenders. After he carried the ball inside he would stay in an inverted position which created space for the right midfielder to receive the ball in space on the wing.

The Colombian full-back liked to play strong, diagonal passes towards the striker and possesses good consistency with his short passing. However, his crossing was very poor. His crosses floated way too much and always failed to reach their ideal destination. Sometimes the crosses even went over the byline. His long passing technique was below average and Samuel Bello needs to work on that. Defensively he showed good concentration to stay close to the right central defender and not step out when he shouldn’t step out. However, in one moment he lost concentration as he did not anticipate that the ball would keep in play when Peñarol put in a cross. Consequently, his opponent managed to lay the ball back to the striker who tapped the ball into the back of the net.

Physically, the Colombian seems to lack pace and acceleration as he often was defeated in sprint duels. He won most of his aerial duels thanks to his height but did not look as strong in the ground duels as you would expect from someone of his height.

Rating – 3

The level in the Colombian league is not that high anymore, and at the age of 17 he has plenty of time to improve on his weaknesses. I don’t think he has that much potential though.

Samuel Asprilla

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Colombian
  • Age: 18
  • Date of birth: 30/11/2003
  • Club: Millonarios
  • Career: Millonarios
  • Position: Left-Back
  • Preferred foot: Left

Samuel Asprilla played as a left-back for Millonarios in the match against Peñarol. The Colombian showed good athleticism throughout the game and played with a lot of energy and drive. He showed some signs of potential and has an interesting profile but his performance was not great, especially because Millonarios failed to reach him in the final third. Asprilla likes to try to get in front of his opponent when his opponent receives the ball. He often anticipates well in these situations, but he had a few moments in which he was too early or too late which led to him getting dribbled past. The Colombian seemed to get dribbled pas quite easily, as he sometimes was defending on the wrong side of his opponent. The Colombian youngster got a yellow card after he made a very nasty tackle as he was too late in the duel and probably a bit frustrated with Millonarios’s performance.

This was also seen in the late stages of the game in which he refused to track back when he was operating on the opposition’s half while Peñarol had a counter-attack. On the ball he proved to have a good technique and strong passing. He was consistent on the ball and liked to play very high up the pitch when Millonarios were in possession. His teammates often tried to find him in space, but their passes weren’t accurate. He rarely showed that he can help Millonarios progress further up the pitch by continuing his run after playing an outside of the boot pass into midfield, in which they progressed further up the pitch. Asprilla’s crossing was not that great, especially as he often used the wrong technique. He liked to play crosspasses into the box, which were quite slow and floated too much.

Rating – 2

He has an interesting profile and as he just turned 18 three months ago, I think he will reach the first team eventually. However, I don’t think his career will take him further than the Colombian league.

Joseph Arévalo

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Colombian
  • Age: 19
  • Date of birth: 13/01/2003
  • Club: Millonarios
  • Career: Millonarios
  • Position: Defensive Midfielder
  • Preferred foot: Right

Joseph Arévalo (Nicolas Arévalo on their Twitter page, but Joseph Arévalo on the internet) played as a central midfielder for Millonarios. In possession he often moved between the two central defenders. The Colombian was very much involved in possession and his manager expected him to help Millonarios progress the ball further up the pitch. The 19-year-old has good technical ability and proved to have good ball control. He was capable of waiting with his move until it was the right time to play the pass or take on his opponent, just like Daley Blind does at Ajax. His crosspassing was inconsistent, but he has a good crosspassing technique. He sometimes put too much power on his crosspasses. He has good vision and managed to find his teammates in space plenty of times, but his passes were sometimes a bit too powerful or he put too little power on the ball.

Under pressure, Arévalo sometimes touched the ball down well with his chest before trying to get past his opponent in the 1v1 duels. However, even though he has good acceleration on the ball he was well-defended, also because he is not the strongest. Arévalo played some good, powerful passes into midfield but occasionally should have upped the tempo as he took too much time on the ball at times. Arévalo has good athleticism and showed good anticipation and intelligence in ground duels, which he needs. However, in one moment he was sleeping and did not track the run of his opponent which led to the 2-0. Arévalo was too aggressive in some duels and he gave away a foul sometimes. Arévalo has good stamina. Standing at ~166cm, he struggled to win physical duels and this could hinder him in the future.

Rating – 2

He can become a really good player for the Colombian league, looking at his technical ability. I think he is too small to play as a lone defensive midfielder, but next to a strong, ball-winning midfielder he could do really well for a possession-based club.

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