Friday, February 19, 2016

Pumas chase Emelec home - Copa Libertadores

Quick strike: Isamel Sosa from Pumas. (photo:
The second Mexican club in this year's Copa Libertadores has followed the example of the first one and won their opening match with 10 men. Pumas UNAM have beaten CS Emelec at home in a goalfest, 4-2.

It only took the iconic side from up north 17 seconds to get the first goal against their Ecuadorian visitors. Ismael Sosa was at the end of a cross to the far post and gave Pumas the lead before the last supporters had entered the stadium. Defender Nazareno had somehow missed his clearing header.

Despite being on the backfoot early on, Emelec found a way to equalise 18 minutes in. Angel Mena, just having scored for his team in the league last weekend, was quicker to the ball than Pumas' goalkeeper Alejandro Palacios on a defensive breakdown and chipped it into the back of the net. 

A draw, that should hold for about 5 minutes. The 7-time Mexican champion struck off a freekick from the left sideline. Luis Fuentes delivered into the middle and noone picked up the run of defender Darío Verón, who headed it home without too many problems. 

Emelec, after suffering the loss of their star striker Miler Bolaños to Grêmio, surprisingly did fine generating chances offensively. Sadly for the Ecuadorians, Palacios was up to the task and had a fine game. 

The second half was started by strong attacks from Pumas, who again and again were stopped by magnificent saves from Esteban Dreer. Until they were weakened by a red card in the 65th minute. Substitute David Cabrera was sent off after sliding into his opposing player, maybe a little bit harsh to give straight red though. Only two minutes afterwards, Emelec found the equaliser through another goal from Angel Mena, who displayed excellent control on two touches before finishing. 

10-men Pumas, instead of playing for the single point now, went for it themselves and got rewarded. Another set piece led to the fifth goal of the match. Quiñónez' corner was met by a textbook header from Gerardo Alcoba and the Mexicans had the lead back. A lead, which was doubled right after for the final score of 4-2. Byron Mina deflected the ball into his own net, with Quiñónez close by.


Elsewhere, Colo Colo got an away draw at Independiente del Valle. Esteban Paredes gave the Chileans a 63rd minute lead, which was equalised shortly after by Jefferson Orejuela. Atlético Minero lead Group 5 with three points, ahead of Colo Colo and Ind. del Valle with one each. In last place, Melgar from Peru after their loss to the Brazilians

Peñarol started their quest for a sixth Libertadores title in weak fashion. In Peru, the Uruguayans were being dominated by Sporting Cristal and got lucky with a 1-1 draw. Luís Aguiar got the side from Montevideo on the scoreboard first (40th), levelled by Alberto Rodríguez after 75 minutes.


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