Friday, May 22, 2015

Just keep on winning – Guaraní on its way to the semis

15.000 spectators came into the Defensores del Chaco stadium on Thursday evening and they were not disappointed by their team. Guaraní, having just eliminated Corinthians in the last round, came away with yet another victory against a favored side. In fairness, Racing Club had to play with ten men for a good 50 minutes of the match, after Lollo received a questionable red card in the 41st due to an elbow to the head of the opposition player. It still took 85 minutes for the Paraguayans to get the breakthrough they desperately fought for all game. Striker Julián Benítez fired a shot from the right edge of the penalty area across the goal and surprised goalkeeper Sebastián Saja to his right. The goal came when Racing reached control of the game, but overall it is a deserved victory for the home side who did a lot more offensively (13-4 shots, each one from the guests by Gustavo Bou). If Guaraní can reproduce another 90 minutes of the same kind next week, then they are well on their way to the semi finals of this year’s Copa Libertadores.


Guaraní players celebrating the winning goal by Benítez (in the middle) last night.

And the highlights of Guaraní vs Racing:

The second match of last night saw River Plate take on Cruzeiro. And again, the fans had to wait long to see a goal. Here it was less pleasant for the home side though, as Marquinhos scored in the 82nd minute to give the Brazilians a big away win, which puts them into the semi finals with one leg already. The game itself was pretty bad, did not have a lot of chances on either side. River did not do enough as the home team, lots of half chances or shots from distance were no danger for Cruzeiro’s goalkeeper Fábio. River coach Gallardo was disappointed by his team’s performance, but kept showing his competitiveness: “We generated very few clear chances, but we always showed our will. We will have a few days to recover and prepared for the match in Brazil.” Gallardo added that his team will have to go for it in the second leg, while Cruzeiro has the comfort of the lead going into that match.

Goals were a rare good in the quarter finals. The other ties played this week only had a total of one each as well. And both home teams and outsiders took the win. Emelec beat UANL Tigres through a Miller Bolaños goal in the 63rd minute. It was already the 6th goal this season for the Ecuadorian striker, who is having a great campaign along with his team.

Finally, Santa Fe beat Internacional 1-0 as well. A last minute goal from defender Dairon Mosquera sealed the deal, when the Brazilians left him wide open for a header in the penalty area. This leaves Internacional with a mountain to climb at home. Can they do it? For sure. Let us find out next week!


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