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  • MEXICO SOCCER

    Maradona's Dorados face tough road battle against Mineros in Mexican soccer

    19 de octubre de 2018

    Zacatecas, Mexico, Oct 19 (EFE).- Dorados de Sinaloa, coached by Argentine legend Diego Maradona, will go on the road and face Mineros de Zacatecas in a key battle in their playoff quest in Mexico's second division.

    Since taking the head coaching job at Sinaloa, Maradona has tallied a record of three wins and one loss.

    The team currently has 12 points and is in the eighth spot in the Ascenso MX's Apertura championship with four games remaining, a position that has it on track to make the eight-team playoffs.

    The Dorados will face a stiff challenge on Saturday at Carlos Vega Villalba Stadium in Zacatecas against the third-place Mineros (23 points), who have the third-best offense (16 goals scored) and fourth-best defense (nine goals allowed).

    Sinaloa has not faced any of the top five teams in the standings since Maradona took over the coaching duties, but the former playing great has helped lift the squad's confidence and gotten some players to produce their best soccer.

    A clear example is Ecuadorian forward Vinicio Angulo, who has scored four goals in the club's last four matches and whose speed and especially his personality and leadership traits have made him the team's key figure.

    On Saturday, Maradona will likely continue to demand an attacking mindset from his players, while the Mineros are expected to seek out space to counter-attack with their front line led by Guillermo Martinez.

    The 23-year-old Martinez has scored five goals in the championship. He and fellow forward Roberto Nurse will lead a Mineros club that is eager to clinch a playoff berth as soon as possible.

    This week, a video emerged that showed Maradona having difficulty walking during a training session, causing rumors to spread on social media. The team hasn't commented on the possibility of a new health crisis afflicting Maradona, who suffers from arthritis.

    Several other Matchday 12 games are on tap this weekend in Mexico's second division: UAEM Potros-Zacatepec, Atletico San Luis-Cafetaleros, Venados-Alebrijes de Oaxaca, Tampico Madero-Leones Negros UdeG, Celaya-Atlante and Juarez-Cimarrones de Sonora.

    Juarez is in first place in the Ascenso MX's Apertura with 26 points, while Atlante is second with 24 points.