Friday, October 30, 2015

Copa Sudamericana – Semifinals Complete

The semifinals of the 2015 edition of the Copa Sudamericana are complete. After the Argentinian clubs Huracán and River Plate, as well as Paraguay’s Sportivo Luqueño, Santa Fe from Colombia reached the round of the last four the past night.


To the semis they go: Santa Fe have reached the round of the last 4 by beating Independiente (CONMEBOL).

In doing so, Santa Fe prevented the total Argentinian dominance that many feared ahead of the second legs by beating Copa Libertadores record champions Independiente 2-1 on aggregate. The Colombians profited especially from a strong first half, which saw them with most of the possession and chances. Defender Francisco Meza gave the hosts the lead in the 31st minute after heading a corner that was in the air for quite some time into the bottom left corner.

Independiente never got any clear cut scoring chances, even in the second half, while Santa Fe should have built further to their lead. In the 93rd minute, the surprising equalizer came via own goal from goalkeeper Robinson Zapata after a shot was deflected to the post and from there up into his face and into the net.

It was a goal that came a little too late as time was up right after. Here are the match highlights:

Notes from around the Copa Sudamericana:

Through their win last night, Santa Fe continue their impressive run. LDU Loja, Nacional, Emelec and now Independiente have been their victims thus far. Next opponent? Sportivo Luqueño, who have reached the semis through a 2-0 home win against Atlético Paranaense, erasing the 0-1 deficit from the first leg.

Wilson Morelo (Santa Fe) continues to lead the goalscoring race along with Bolaños and Núñez, but is the only player of those three left in the competition.

The other semifinal will be an all-Argetinian affair, because the Copa Sudamericana rules state that if two clubs from the same association are left, they have to face each other. That means River Plate (4-3 on aggregate vs Chapecoense) battle it out for a spot in the final with Huracán (1-0 on aggregate vs Defensor Sporting).

Not the worst chances to defend the title for Superchampion River, who counted on Carlos Sánchez in the quarterfinals. The Uruguayan scored 3 of the club’s 4 goals.

None of the other teams that are left (apart from River Plate of course) have ever won the Copa Sudamericana.


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