Friday, February 26, 2016

River wins big, Emelec wins first - Copa Libertadores

River Plate's title defense campaign is off to an outstanding start. Last night, Argentina's best international team of the recent years won 0-4 away to Trujillanos. 
Iván Alonso was in form last night. (Photo: @RiverPlatePho)
All four goals came in the second half that was thoroughly dominated by River. Leonardo Pisculichi via direct freekick (55'), Lucho González (63') and Iván Alonso twice (80' & 90'+1) scored the goals for the favourite. Back home in the Primera División, River Plate had a so-so start, but once more Marcelo Gallardo's men show they are seemingly born for international cup competitions. 

In fairness, Trujillanos did not have much to bring up against the Argentines. Venezuela's vice champion was out-possessed, outshot and simply outclassed in the second 45 minutes. Gallardo had even left players like Alario, Mora or Pity Martínez on the bench for a more experienced lineup with the likes of Lucho or Alonso. His XI worked and will go up against Sao Paulo next in March. 

River are top of the table, ahead of The Strongest, both with three points.

Victorious Emelec.
Emelec scored two late goals to get their first win of the 2016 Copa Libertadores against Deportivo Táchira. Emanuel Herrera (81', penalty) and Denis Stracqualursi (87') got the decisive goals for Ecuador's champion. In a game that was pretty even for the most part, the Venezuelans also suffered a sending-off for Carlos Lujano after 87 minutes.

Group 7 is being led by UNAM Pumas ahead of Emelec and Táchira, all with three points. Paraguay's Olimpia sits last with no points yet. Interesting side fact: So far, all 3 games that were played included red cards.

Jonathan Santana after his goal. (Photo: Studio Futbol)
Another Paraguayan team did a better job last night. Cerro Porteño were able to get a highly deserved 2-1 win over Cobresal. The Chileans never really set a foot into this game and still made things somewhat interesting. After Jonathan Santana (50') and Luís Leal (52') gave Cerro a two-goal lead with a quick double strike, Lino Maldonado cut it in half only 10 minutes later. 

Cerro Porteño now leads Group 8 with 4 points, one ahaed of Corinthians. They are followed by Santa Fe with 1 and Cobresal with 0.


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