Monday, 18 April 2011

Copa Libertadores round-up

We're getting to the end of the group stage of this season's Libertadores and here's a slightly belated round-up of the latest action.

Group 2

Oriente Petrolero 3-0 Grêmio
Junior 1-1 León de Huánuco

With positions already decided in Group 2, Grêmio sent a virtual reserve team to Bolivia as Oriente Petrolero finished their campaign with back to back victories. Nicolas Fernández put the home side ahead six minutes after the break and Fernando Saucedo doubled the lead fifteen minutes from time. Juan Acre made it three ten minutes from time but Grêmio's Rodolfo will miss the opening game of the Round of 16 after his dismissal five minutes from time. Junior ensured they will go into the Round of 16 as group winners after they were denied victory by a late León de Huánuco goal in Branquilla. Jossymar Gómez put Junior ahead fourteen minutes from time but León de Huánuco levelled eight minutes through Orlando Rodríquez

Group 4

Universidad Católica 2-1 Unión Española
Caracas FC 0-3 Vélez Sarsfield

Matchday Six heartbreak for Caracas FC as they went from top to third and elimination after the final group games. Caracas were stunned 3-0 at home by Agentinian side Vélez Sarsfield who moved above the Colombians by virtue of the result. Maxi Morales put Vélez ahead with twenty-one minutes gone and a quickfire double in the opening ten minutes of the second half from Santiago Silva wrapped things up. Universidad Católica also leapfrogged Caracas and into the Round of 16 after victory over fellow Chilean side Unión Española. Kevin Harbottle stunned Universidad Católica when he gave Unión the lead two minutes after the break but Pablo Calandria levelled two minutes later. Marcelo Cañete got the winner for Universidad Católica twelve minutes from time to put them into the Round of 16.

Group 5

Colo Colo 2-1 Deportivo Táchira
Cerro Porteño 1-2 Santos

Still only Matchday 5 in Group 5 and going into Matchday 6 it's going to be two from three as it's tight at the top of the group. Colo Colo went top on Tuesday night after a 2-1 defeat of Deportivo Táchira in Santiago. The visitors made the perfect start when Edgar Pérez Greco put them ahead with just four minutes gone but Diego Rubio levelled for the home side just three minutes later. A second to Rubio with twenty five minutes on the clock won it for the home side to put them top of the group. It left Santos in a must-win situation in Paraguay when they took on Cerro Porteño any result but a win would almost certainly eliminate them. Danilo da Silva put Santos ahead with twelve minutes on the clock and Maikon Leite doubled the lead three minutes after the break. Pedro Benítez pulled a goal back for Cerro Porteño in injury time but it was little more than mere consolation. Santos will now be favourite to qualify when they entertain win less Deportivo Táchira while it's winner takes all in Santiago where Colo Colo entertain Cerro Porteño.

Group 7

Estudiantes 0-3 Cruzeiro
Guaraní 0-2 Deportes Tolima

Cruzeiro will go into the Round of 16 as the number 1 seed after a demolition of 2009 champions Estudiantes. In what was a meaningless game with both teams already qualified Cruzeiro laid down a marker with this result. Thiago Ribeiro put them ahead with eleven minutes gone and Wallyson doubled the lead on the stroke of half time. Gilberto wrapped things up for the visitors eight minutes from time. Guaraní have had a Libertadores to forget as they finished with six defeat after Deportes Tolima were 2-0 winners in Asunción. Danny Santoya put Tolima ahead three minutes into the second half and Luis Closa wrapped things up midway through the second half.

Group 8

Peñarol 0-1 Independiente
LDU Quito 2-0 Godoy Cruz

Disaster for both Argentinian sides in Group 8 as both departed the competition despite Independiente winning in Montevideo at Peñarol. One goal separated the sides and it came when Facundo Parra fired past Sebastian Sosa twelve minutes before the break. The result though, wasn't enough for the seven times Libertadores winners as fellow countrymen Godoy Cruz fell to defeat at LDU Quito. The 2008 champions took the lead when Luis Bolaños was left unmarked at the back post to tap home and they doubled the lead ten minutes later when Hernan Barcos scored a marvellous individual goal. LDU Quito go into the Round of 16 as Group 8 winners while Peñarol scraped through by the skin of their teeth.

The Group stage comes to a conclusion this week when the final group games take place in four groups. They line up like this

Jorge Wilstermann v Jaguares
Internacional v Emelec Premier Sports, 19:30pm Tuesday April 19
Libertad v San Luis
Universidad San Martin v Once Caldas
Santos v Deportivo Táchira
Colo Colo v Cerro Porteño
Nacional v América
Argentinos Juniors v Fluminense

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