LDU have opened up a huge advantage in the Copa Sudamericana final after thrashing Fluminense 5-1 at the Estadio Casa Blanca in Quito.
Fluminense led with less than 60 seconds on the clock when Marquinho pounced to give the visitors a shock lead. Fluminense began to struggle in the altitude and were behind by half time thanks to two cracking goals from Edison Méndez, pictured right celebrating with LDU coach Jorge Fossati. Méndez completed his hat-trick with a header on the hour and then turned creator for Franklin Salas to add a fourth. 4-1 was probably enough for Fluminense to haul back in Rio next week but Ulises de la Cruz put one hand on the trophy for LDU with a 30 yarder with three minutes to go.
What the ramifications are for Fluminense no one can tell. It's their first defeat after a 13 match unbeaten run, including victories in the last 8 on the spin, and with Vitória due at the Maracanã in a must win game in their fight against relegation it may have had a devastating effect on the confidence of the side coming into what could be one of the biggest weeks in the history of Fluminense.
You can't fault the efforts of LDU, they were masterful tonight. Ripping Fluminense to shreds at times and fully deserving their four goal lead. After last years Libertadores final, you shouldn't write this game off. It finished 5-5 on aggregate last time and who is to say that with a full to bursting Maracanã behind them, Fluminense might pull off the impossible. They've been doing it in the league for the last 6 weeks but I think this may be a bridge too far for them and there may be tears at the end of it all.