Two Huaraz football teams still in promotion bid to the Peruvian Primera División

S port Ancash F.C. and Sport Rosario are both still in the running to make it to the Peruvian Primera División. The league, organised by the Sports Association of Professional Football counts with an odd system of promotion and relegation. The two lowest placed teams in Primera División are relegated to the Segunda División (Second Division), and the top team from the Segunda División and Copa Perú get promoted to the Primera División.

Sport Ancash F.C. has been participating in the Second Division this year and after a spell of eight wins in the last nine games, the team ended second in the league table after last Sunday with 53 points. Academia Cantolao also ended on 53 points but has a better goal difference. However, rules of the Sports Association of Professional Football state that when teams are level on points, an extra match on neutral ground will be played. Alianza Lima´s Matute Stadium (Estadio Alejandro Villanueva de Matute) was designated as the setting for the Second Division’s defining match between Academia Cantolao and Sport Áncash; the meeting will be this Saturday the 3rd of December at 2 pm. The winner will go up; the loser will have to play an extra year in the Second Division.

Sport Rosario, the other Huaraz-based team has been participation in the Copa Perú this year. The Copa Perú was initially created to promote clubs outside of the capital hub along with the Segunda División which promoted clubs from Lima and Callao. The cup is not entirely an elimination-cup competition involving all Peruvian clubs, but rather a series of league tournaments leading to an elimination tournament, with regional league clubs as participants. It guarantees its winner promotion to the professional First Division and its runner-up promotion to the promotional Second Division.

Last Sunday, Sport Rosario beat Kola San Martín 4 to 3 after having won the first leg 0-1 in the jungle of Iquitos. Along with Binacional (Arequipa), Deportivo Hualgayoc (Cajamarca) and Racing Huamachuco (La Libertad), the Nicrupampa-based team will now battle for a place in the highest division of Peruvian football. All four teams will play each other once and the team that gathers the most points out of those three matches will be promoted.

Last time that Academia Cantolao and Sport Ancash F.C. met the game ended in a draw (2-2 in Callao) and the penultimate meeting ended in a 3-1 home victory for the Huaraz-based team. Ancash residents living in the nation´s capital have already announced to visit the Alianza Lima stadium this Saturday. Last and only time La Amenaza Verde got promoted to the Peruvian Premier Division was back in 2004 when it beat Sporting Municipal. Interesting detail: 34-year-old Víctor Hugo Cartagena Farfán was in the line-up 12 years ago and will have a second promotion opportunity with Sport Áncash in 2016 as he is a member of the team again after a short spell at Municipal. Controversial club president José ‘Pepe’ Mallqui Beas has offered a bonus of 20.000 USD to each of the 16 players of Sport Ancash F.C. in case they reach promotion.

Credits picture: David Rosales

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