Friday, 21 October 2011

Copa Sudamericana week 12

Round of 16, first leg

São Paulo 1-0 Libertad
Flamengo 0-4 Universidad de Chile

Luís Fabiano is back in a São Paulo shirt, seven years after embarking on his European adventure with Porto and Sevilla. This was game number four for the striker in his second spell with his home-town club and goal number one, the lone strike enough to hand São Paulo the advantage over Libertad of Paraguay. With time running out at the Morumbi, Fabiano pulled the ball down expertly on his chest and cracked it left-footed into the roof of the net.
Fellow Brazilians Flamengo are staring down the barrel having been comprehensively outplayed at home by Universidad de Chile. It started badly enough as a long-range shot from José Manuel Rojas was turned onto the post by Fla keeper Felipe, but it came back, struck Felipe on the back of the legs and went in for a most unfortunate own goal. Fifteen minutes later and Fla were down to ten as Airton was sent off for a challenge on Osvaldo González and by half-time they were three down as Eduardo Vargas bagged two late in the half. The first owed much to the work of Eugenio Mena down the left, but the second was all Vargas who created havoc in the defence with some direct running and a good show of strength. The numbers were levelled up five minutes into the second half as Francisco Castro was sent off for a foul on Willians, but Fla couldn't find a way back into the match and it was put to bed with twenty to go as Univ. de Chile hit a fourth when some dizzying passing around the Flamengo box ended with Gustavo Lorenzetti getting bored and just smashing it past a statuesque Felipe.

Round of 16, second leg

Arsenal 3-2 Olimpia
Arsenal advance 4-1 on points
Universitario 1-1 Godoy Cruz
Universitario advance 3-2 on penalties
Vélez Sarsfield 1-1 Universidad Católica
Vélez advance 4-1 on points

After a goalless draw in Asunción, Arsenal were always favourites to progress in the return leg at Avellande and, for most of the first half, it looked like being a cruise. Cristian Trombetta thumped in a rocket of a header from 12 yards on the quarter hour to put Arsenal ahead and a delightful lob from Emilio Zelaya doubled the lead five minutes later. Back came Olimpia though and it was 2-2 by the interval as Pablo Zeballo struck twice. The first was a brilliant free-kick from 20 yards while the second was pure predator, swooping on a parried save by Arsenal keeper Cristian Campestrini. Five minutes from time and Gustavo Blanco headed what proved to be the winner, albeit from the most offside position you could wish to see. The travelling support were justifiably aggrieved, but it's Arsenal who progress.
One apiece in Mendoza three weeks ago and one apiece in Callao this week meant Universitario and Godoy Cruz needed a penalty shoot-out to decide their tie. Before that, Israel Damonte put Godoy ahead on the stroke of half-time with a bullet header. Heading down the stretch, that looked like being decisive until Andy Polo's looping header took Godoy keeper Sebastian Torrico out of the equation and levelled the scores. In the shoot-out, Leandro Caruso went first and put Godoy ahead, but Alberto Gálvan equalised with Universitario's first. Jorge Curbelo made it 2-1 before Martin Morel missed to hand Godoy the advantage. Ariel Rojas couldn't make the advantage stick as he missed, but so did Pablo Vitti with Universitario's third. The miss-a-thon continued as Nicolas Sanchez wasted Godoy's fourth which allowed Raúl Ruidíaz to level it up at 2-2. Damonte missed Godoy's fifth which allowed Jesus Rabanal to step up and send Universitario through 3-2.
The damage was done for Vélez in the first leg with a 2-0 in Santiago and the return leg saw them retain the control over Chile's Universidad Católica established there. Gonzalo Sepúlveda's 25-yarder pulled one back for La Católica, but Vélez didn't panic and sealed the deal with a late header from Fernando Ortiz to send them into the quarter-finals.

Next week sees more second leg ties from the Round of 16 and here's how they line up:

Santa Fe x Botafogo
Vasco da Gama x Aurora
Libertad x São Paulo
Universidad de Chile x Flamengo - at time of writing, scheduled for coverage by Premier Sports TV. Check website for further details.

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