Monday, February 9, 2015

Introduction – Why Copa Libertadores?

During an evening the other day, I had a conversation with a friend about which countries we wanted to see, where we would like to spend time at. For me, it is easily answered with South America, specifically Uruguay. This has many different reasons, explaining them all would go too far at this point. Following that conversation, I watched a lot of related videos, read quite a few articles about the country, and as a life-long football fan I thought nothing would be more logic than to watch some South American football.

Which South American team would you support as a German you wonder? Having always liked Uruguay and having a friend in Montevideo that happens to be a Nacional supporter, the decision was basically already made years ago. One downside are the, for Europeans, sadly inevitable late kickoff times especially in the West of the continent.

Despite that, I managed to watch two games of the most famous American football competition, the Copa Libertadores, during the last week. Corinthians beat Once Caldas 4-0, even though they were down a man for long parts of the game after Paolo Guerrero was sent off early in the game. With Guerrero, Renato Augusto and Fagner, I got to see three familiar faces in the Brazilian side, who were all in the German Bundesliga not so long ago.

The second game took place a day after and what else would it be than Nacional opening their 2015 Copa campaign against Chilean side Palestino. I was very excited to see them play, that excitement took a hit quite early when CB Diego Polenta was sent off in the 35th minute of the game. They tried to hang on, goalkeeper Gustavo Munúa was outstanding, but Diego Rosende made it 1-0 for Palestino in the 69th minute. Nevertheless, I believe that Nacional can make up that one goal deficit at home and advance into the group stage with a meeting against Argentinian rivals Boca looming.

This week, three games (of the second legs) are scheduled to take place at “civil” times, I will try to watch at least two of them. The already pretty much decided Huracán vs Alianza Lima, Cerro Porteño vs Deportivo Táchira and Nacional vs Palestino.

Below I included some match highlights from the Corinthians and the Palestino win in the first leg. Both winning teams are playing in black and white.


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