Thursday, April 14, 2016

Grêmio kills last hope for San Lorenzo

A lot of Copa Libertadores action last night and some further participants of the round of 16 were decided. One team that did not play and still got eliminated: 2014 champion San Lorenzo.

It was thanks to Brazilian club Grêmio Porto Alegre, that San Lorenzo can watch the round of 16 in front of the television for a second straight year. Grêmio beat LDU Quito 3-2 away in Ecuador and advance to the next stage themselves.

Bobô, scorer of Grêmio's second goal. (Photo: Conmebol)
Douglas (13') and Bobô (26') gave the visitors an early 2-0 lead that held until halftime. Throughout the game, the result remained unrepresentative of the actual events on the pitch. Álvaro Gutierrez' Quito did really well controlling the game for the most part and creating the larger amount of opportunities. Their biggest chance of the first half came after 28 minutes, but Edson Puch's artistic effort went wide.

Right at the start of the second half their efforts finally paid off. José Quinteros was there to finish off a fantastic attack when Grêmio were still in their dressing room and cut the lead in half (46'). The pitch itself was extremely difficult last night, as it had rained a lot in Ecuador, making precise passing an ever so big challenge for both sides. 

Even the soaky field did not stop Wallace top produce an absolute golazo after 53 minutes though. His screamer from the edge of the area went right into the top left corner and extended Grêmio's lead back to two goals. Even if goalkeeper Alexander Domínguez did not look good there punching the ball right onto Wallace's foot, it is hard to blame him for such a great finish. 

LDU Quito kept applying pressure until the end, despite already being eliminated from the competition. They wanted to put on a show for the supporters that came to the stadium to see them play and finally got a second and final goal after 77 minutes. José Cevallos Jr. fired a shot from distance that fooled everybody, including goalkeeper Marcelo Grohe and went in at the far post. Just before, Grohe had come up with a spectacular 1v1 foot save on Carlos Tenorio. 

At the end, Grêmio got away with all three points, giving them a total of 8 and a ticket to the round of 16. They are being joined by group winners Deportivo Toluca (13), while San Lorenzo (3) and LDU Quito (3) remain at the bottom before the last matchday. 

In particular San Lorenzo will be disappointed. After a dreadful 2015 campaign, they had hope to get back on track in 2016, but stayed winless (!) in five matches. That is simply not good enough for the big Argentine club, whether they have a new coach or not.


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