Independiente Medellín top of the Liga Águila and having a laugh
Leading the pack at the moment is Independiente Medellín. The side, who will start their Copa Libertadores campaign next week, are on track to make the top eight and with the amount of games racking up, they can afford to move their focus to the continental tournament. Juan Fernando Quintero and Christian Marrugo are the stars of the show, the creative midfielders control the pace in which El Poderoso plays. Atlético Nacional and Independiente Santa Fe are also on schedule at a third of this season sitting comfortably in the top eight with two games in hand.
Recently promoted América de Cali also had a good start to the season. With fresh and attacking football they hold firm in the top eight, but the biggest surprise have been Alianza Petrolera. Surprisingly, they have performed as well away from home as in their fortress in the boiling hot Barrancabermeja. César Arias joined Los Petroleros after a knee ligament injury had left his career at Once Caldas in a slump. In his birth city he is reviving his career with five goals in the first eight games.
Pasto are also riding high at the start of the season, but the team known to take full advantage of the altitude and cold in their home stadium has surprisingly performed better away this season. Under manager Flabio Torres, El Equipo Volcánico’s defence has proven almost unbeatable and playmaker Yamilson Rivera is stealing the show with six goals, though four of them have come from the 12 yard spot.
Millonarios and Atlético Junior set everything on the Copa Libertadores qualifications having failed to make the groupstage. El Embajador look to have a decent team this season that should fairly easily make the top eight. For Los Tiburones the cards are slightly different, they bet everything on the Copa Libertadores and with two points in five games they sit at the bottom of the table.
The first month saw two managers being seen out of the door already. After round two, Tolima manager Gregorio Pérez received his marching orders after a disagreement with club owner Gabriel Camargo. Atlético Bucaramanga ended their contract with Harold Rivera after round eight due to the bad results. Rivera had joined Los Leopardos in December, after almost three moderately successful years in Patriotas.
The smaller teams Bogotá remain in mid-table. Equidad started the season well, but a run of defeats without finding the net saw them drop to mid-table. The 20-year-old right winger Diego Valoyes has been a revelation in the first month of this season for Equidad. Recently promoted Tigres FC are performing better than expected with nine points in their first eight games. Centre back Jorge Lozano is a rock in defence for the team that will have a hard time avoiding relegation. But in eight games they have only scored three goals, exposing their main problem, toothlessness.