The Colombian soccer players’ association are crying foul and calling for an investigation after late goals scored in the 95th and 96th minute in Union Magdalena’s fixture with Llaneros FC meant that El Union, who are based in the Santa Marta region of Magdalena in Colombia, confirmed their promotion to next season’s Dimayor league. Llaneros were leading 1-0 deep into injury time before the dramatic late twist.
Footage posted online of the winning goal from Jonathan Segura appears to show Llaneros defenders backing away and allowing the attacking team to score the crucial winning goal unimpeded, which came after their main promotion rivals Fortaleza lost 2-1 to Bogota on the same night.
Juventus’ 106-times capped Colombia international Cuadrado was among those to immediately point out the suspicious circumstances of the late goals, writing online (via translation) that the controversial ending showed a “lack of respect.”
Cuadrado’s international teammate Matheus Uribe added that the incident was “an embarrassment for Colombian football.”
The pair’s concerns were matched by Colombian football’s professional footballers’ association ACOLFUTPRO, which said that the conclusion to the match was shrouded in a “cloak of doubt.”
“Given the cloak of doubt that the result of the match between [Llaneros FC] and [Unio nMagdalena] has generated, we ask the disciplinary commission of the [Dimayor league] to carry out a rigorous investigation as soon as possible,” they wrote online.
Union Magdalena, though, refused to reference any allegations of impropriety and instead wrote in their own Twitter post that the result of the match was for “those who think anything is possible.“
Fortaleza coach Nelson Florez, meanwhile, was reduced to tears in his team’s post-match press conference after missing out on promotion, saying: “I am not ashamed to cry, because I feel robbed. We can lose, but not this way.”
The reaction online was equally incredulous.
“That’s a really simple one, but it won’t happen… relegate both clubs as punishment or ban all players involved for life,” suggested one fan on Twitter.
“The goalie was either not notified about the fixed match or he tried hard to make it seem like it wasn’t,” said another.
“In South America, anything is possible,” wrote a third.
© 2021, paradox. All rights reserved.