Desperation met contentedness as a relaxed Deportivo Quito held on against a feisty group of late bloomers from Olmedo Riobamba in a 2-2 draw, Sunday, after a blistering second half of play followed a droll, scoreless, first 45 minutes.
Dep. Quito forward Walter Calderon headed in two second half goals to counteract the strikes of OlemedoÃ‚â€™s Gonzalo De Porras and 18-year-old midfielder Andres Vinueza.
CalderonÃ‚â€™s second strike came after Olmedo defender Jose Perlaza missed on heading a service away and Dep. Quito had tied the match at 2-2.
Only moments earlier, Perlaza missed a chance to give Olmedo a 3-1 lead when a quality look was kicked just wide left of goal.
Olmedo (seven points in three matches), who leads Group A of the Serie A Group Stage, must win the group in order to qualify for the season ending field of six teams in the Liguilla Final. Second placed Barcelona Guayaquil was to play later tonight.
Group B is led by Technico University Ambato.
Both group winners would qualify along with Dep. Quito, LD Quito, Deportivo Cuenca, and El Nacional Quito.
Olmedo hoped to follow a resounding 4-0 dumping at El Nacional Quito on Thursday, and their offense, which failed them so much during their first 22 matches, almost did so again until the hour-mark when things began to click.
De Porras and Vinueza scored three minutes apart to take a 2-1 lead after the hour-mark.
VinuezaÃ‚â€™s strike came off of a misfire by De Porras when he tapped the gift just past Dep. Quito (four points in three matches) goalie Bonard Garcia Zambrano, who may have helped it a little.
Dep. Quito, winners of the Campeonato Ecuatariano de FutbolÃ‚â€™s first stage by a seven-point margin and standing third in Group A, started off the match without a good portion of their normal starting lineup in what some assumed was in order to rest for ThursdayÃ‚â€™s opening leg of their Preliminary Round of the Copa Sudamerica contest against Universitario Lima, in Peru.
Calderon opened the scoring in the 59th minute when he headed a shot past Olmedo goalkeeper Francisco Caicedo Bravo and a 1-0 lead.
Despite being short-handed Dep. Quito battled back and forth against Olmedo, who finished 10th in the 12-team opening stage, while scoring only 15 goals in their first 22 matches.
However, even as play moved rapidly back-and-forth, the first half mainly consisted of long-range shots or misplaced serves that made for a sloppy, if at competitive period of play.
Olmedo had the best opportunity of the opening half when defender Eduardo LedesmaÃ‚â€™s shot from the right side was parried away by Garcia Zambrano, stopping a sure goal.
Next up in the 10-game, round-robin stage, Dep. Quito will host El Nacional, while Olmedo will host Barcelona, both on Sunday, Aug. 3.
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