CD Everton de Viña del Mar – Match Report vs. Ayacucho FC (26/04/2022)

On a pitch that more closely resembled a green swimming pool, Everton de Viña del Mar paddled to a 2-1 win over Ayacucho FC. Ironically though, it wasn’t all plain sailing. Everton’s attacking 3-5-2 created bucket loads of chances but were only able to convert 2 of them, both from set-pieces. Ayacucho also set up in a 3-5-2 but their interpretation was much more defensive, reactive and far less creative. Their goal was a fortunate penalty and only one of their measly 2 shots on target in 90 minutes. Everton fielded 3 players 24 and under: Alex Ibacache, Benjamín Berríos and Cristopher Medina. I observed all three for this match report. 

Ratings:

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
  • C – Average for level, re-watch
  • D – Below average in this match

Alex Ibacache

  • Nationality: Chilean
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 11/01/1999
  • Current club: CD Everton de Viña del Mar
  • Career: CD Everton U19 (Y), Cobreloa (loan), Curicó Unidó (loan), CD Everton 
  • Position: Left Back
  • Secondary position: Left Midfielder
  • Preferred foot: Left

As the left midfielder in Everton’s 3-5-2, Alex was tasked with providing offensive width, processing the ball and creating chances through crosses when in a position to do so. Ibacache had plenty of protection from the back 3 and Everton dominated the possession, this allowed him the freedom to unleash his attacking prowess down the left-wing. Ibacache tracked back but barely had to cross into his own half so he was not tested defensively.

Ivan Toney is an example of a fascinating phenomenon: he looks tall and is a strong aerial force, but he’s 5’10. so most people are surprised to find out he’s not over 6 feet tall. The same thing applies to Ibacache. At 175cm he is even shorter than Toney, but he has a powerful, muscular build that makes you doubt that fact. He isn’t what you’d call rapid, but he is quick off the mark and can keep up quick wingers. A good day to describe his speed would be the phrase “powerful runner”. Reece James has a very similar physique. The similarities with the Chelsea star don’t end there though. Ibacache is a very accomplished technical footballer with a very good first touch and the ability to control the ball with his weaker right foot too. His range and variety of passing were impressive too, able to switch the play as well as play one-twos to progress the ball down the left. He crosses the ball often but his delivery and accuracy are much better when playing shorter crosses and passes from just inside or outside the box, rather than smashing it in the direction of the goal from the touchline or byline. It takes a rare player to even entertain the possibility of playing as an inverted full-back, but I think Ibacache could be successful in this role, should his manager wish to try something different. 

 It’s always quite difficult to get an accurate idea of a player’s mentality and personality after just one match, but you can spot red flags. I’m happy to report an absence of any concerning red flags. On the pitch, Ibacache showed great composure on and off the ball. His excellent off the ball movement highlighted his match intelligence and his teammates were always keen to pass the ball to him, even in dangerous situations. I think the level of trust these players have in a 23-year-old is a brilliant indicator not only of his mentality and ability to handle pressure, but also his quality as a player. Even when he was taken off in the 63rd minute, he didn’t throw any water bottles, leave the stadium early or sit there moaning. I can only assume he was submitted for tactical reasons as his replacement was a completely different kind of player and Ibacache’s performance did not justify an early bath. 

Rating – A2

I quite clearly like Ibacache and believe in his potential. There aren’t really any obvious weaknesses in his game that I can identify and like Reece James he can do everything asked of him as a left-back or left midfielder. to be absolutely certain, I’d need to watch him a few more times, but my first impressions are very positive. At 23 and with a TransferMarkt valuation of €400k I would suggest that a European team that is keen to take a calculated risk on a solid left-back should have a look at him. If Lyon can’t afford to meet Emerson Palmieri’s wage demands then they should be scouting Ibacacahe, a player with enough physically to cope in Ligue 1 and enough technically to play possession football. 

Cristopher Medina

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Chilean
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 13/02/2001
  • Current club: CD Everton de Viña del Mar
  • Career: CD Everton U19 (Y), Unión La Calera (loan), CD Everton
  • Position: Right Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

There’s something so heartwarming and endearing about a young player playing for their hometown club as Cristopher Medina is doing. Since his return from loan Medina has been ever-present for Everton. Now 21 and in his second season as a starter, he played the full match as a right midfielder in Everton’s 3-5-2. Medina and Ibacache had identical roles in this match and for his part, Medina played his part well. 

Not everything will be parroted from the report in Ibacache because they are different players at different stages of their development. Medina is younger, shorter, and less powerful. 172 cm isn’t much shorter, but Medina is a slight and skinny player. Both of these factors combine to create a player that can’t impose himself on the game yet. I would suggest he should spend some time in the gym bulking up, especially as his primary position is right back. Thankfully he was covered in this match, but I think he could be bullied by a tricky winger one-on-one at the moment. I would need to watch him play as a right-back or against better opposition to gauge his defensive ability though. The more attacking role in this match allowed Medina to play with more freedom and showcase his technical skill in the offensive phase. Medina is a pretty good passer. No Toni Kross, but good enough to keep possession for his team. Medina has a good burst of pace to get past his man and is quick enough to maintain the width by himself. His great engine adds to his athleticism as he can run quickly down the right for the whole match. Medina seems like quite a high-volume crosser and is particularly good at delivering good balls from wide right positions with his preferred right foot. 

Medina seems reserved and professional. He does his job well and isn’t fazed by intense crowds. This mentality will serve him and his development very well now and in the future. It’s completely understandable why a player like him is so important to Everton. I think players such as Ben Chilwell and Marc Cucharella are similar in their well-roundedness and style of style to Medina. 

Rating – B1

Medina is quite a raw player at the moment. A player to be moulded by good coaching. He has a good mindset and strong athleticism which can take him far. Just how far though is a question that remains to be answered. It’s great to see him getting a lot of time on the pitch, this can only help his development. I’d like to watch him again and see where he ends up. 

Benjamín Berríos

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Chilean
  • Age: 24
  • Date of birth: 09/03/1998
  • Current club: CD Everton de Viña del Mar
  • Career: Colo-Colo U19 (Y), CD Everton (loan), CD Everton
  • Position: Central Midfielder 
  • Secondary position: Right Back, Right Midfielder 
  • Preferred foot: Right

There’s a certain style of player to whom fans give too much credit. They are constantly praised for their passion, work rate and playing like a fan would on the pitch but forgiven for their lack of technical and tactical nous. Players like Scott McTomminay and the target of this report, Benjamín Berrios. 24 years old Berrios is a central midfielder, who plays with the same passion but lacks precision. Tasked with operating as a box-to-box midfielder in Everton’s 3-5-2 he played fairly well. 

Berrios has a slight build and is only 170cm. Despite his tenacity and proclivity to work hard, he doesn’t win many of the tackles he attempts. He’s not particularly good in the final third either. His short passing is fine, he doesn’t play many long passes either. Berrios makes up for this somewhat by being a pretty decent dribbler, with good close control and his acceleration is a great asset for him. furthermore, he can also cross very well from the right half-space and the touchline. 

Berrios has an admirable work ethic and I think that he could be tactically malleable due to his versatility. I think he lacks some composure though and could be more secure on the ball under pressure. One thing that he could improve on is his positioning on and off the ball. In the build-up, he is often in the cover shadow and isn’t in position to receive the ball from the centre backs. In defensive transitions, his positioning is suspect as he tends to move out of the way of oncoming opponents and his pressing technique could be more effective as he’s bypassed too often. 

Rating – C

Benjamín Berrios is a decent player in two positions for this team, in this league. As either a tenacious midfielder or dynamic right back, he is good enough to be a decent player in the Campeonato Chileno. He’s in a good position for a player of his abilities. At 24, he is in his peak so I don’t expect him to improve much and I won’t be recommending him as a potential signing for anyone.

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