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 Copa Libertadores

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PostSubject: Copa Libertadores    Copa Libertadores  Icon_minitimeMon Feb 28, 2011 11:46 am

Copa Libertadores Week 3 Review

By Marc Serber - The Copa Libertaodres continued to deliver on its promise of producing intriguing matches of high quality and drama.

The nets continued to bulge as well. 25 goals were scored in 11 matches. Only Fluminense and Nacional failed to deliver in Wednesday’s nil-nil draw.

On Tuesday, Cruzeiro continued to run riot in group 7 as its 4-0 win over Guarani means the Belo Horizonte side have scored 9 goals in its first two matches. Wallyson scored his second brace of the tournament to take him to the top of the goal scoring charts alongside Cerro Porteno’s Roberto Nanni. Despite showing some frailties at the back, Cruzeiro have kept two clean sheets. Not that it will matter if they continue to score at will.

In Group 6, Emelec sneaked by Jorge Wilstermann 1-0. The home side dominated the first half and got the goal it needed from center back Eduardo Morante on a header from a 33rd minute corner kick. Wilstermann’s 36 year-old Brazilian goalkeeper Mauro Machado made some tremendous saves and the visitros from Bolivia took it to Emelec in the second half. Luis Garcia ran the show for Wilstermann with an inspired display in midfield, but the aviators could not crown the defining moment and Emelec held on for all three points.

The victory would prove critical for Emelec, as on Wednesday, Internacional closed out Matchday 2 in Group 6 with a 4-0 demolition of Mexico’s Chiapas. Mario Bolatti scored two goals in the first half as the home side began to look more like the tournament’s reigning champions.

Elsewhere, Estudiantes de La Plata recovered from its 5-0 hammering at the hands of Cruzeiro last week with a 1-0 victory over Deportes Tolima in front of its home fans.

In group 2, Leon de Huanuco made it a winning week for all Peruvian teams involved. Carlos Zegarra’s 36th minute strike was enough to send Bolivia’s Oriente Petrolero to its second straight defeat.

Thursday’s action served only to leave you wanting more.

Independiente and Penarol were the last teams to open up group play in the tournament with a classic match of enemies from either side of the River Plate. Last year’s Copa Sudamericana winners, Independiente, outclassed Penarol 3-0.

The Uruguyan outfit had no answer to Independiente’s slick inter-passing and slashing runs through midfield. It was such a move that led to the opening goal. Just a minute after the restart, Facundo Parra got on the end of a combination of one and two touch passes to deftly flick the ball past Penarol goalkeeper Fabian Carini.

Cristian Pellerano then scored an early candidate for goal of the tournament with a blistering strike from 25 yards out following poor clearance from a corner in the 70th minute.

Substitute Nestor Silvera rounded off the scoring five minutes from time.

America started brightly with a 27th minute header from Daniel Montenegro off a free kick, but the Mexicans showed their fragility away from home with a 3-1 loss to Argentinos Juniors.

America conceded a silly penalty right on the stroke of halftime. Santiago Salcedo cooly slotted home to draw the sides level.

Salcedo struck the winner in the 73 and Christian Sanchez Prette added a third for good measure in stoppage time.

Finally, Atletico Junior won a pulsating encounter, 2-1 over Gremio in Thursday’s nightcap.

The end to end action in Barranquilla, seemed to favor the visitors from Brazil who struck first through Borges in just the fourth minute.

Junior found its feet and began to tilt the pitch in its favor with fan favorite Giovanni Hernandez getting the benefit of a deflection when he slammed home the equalizer in the 28th minute.

There was no let up to the ferocious pace in the second half as each side took turns on the attack. The definitive moment came in the 74th minute when John Viafara slid in the winner from a corner kick.

Gremio pushed forward in search of the equalizer, but came up short in the type of match that will leave you salivating until next Tuesday, or at least Monday when the preview of next week’s action appears in this space.

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