Thursday, April 28, 2016

Marco Rubén sinks Grêmio at home

After having won their group on the last matchday, Rosario Central had to travel first before playing the second leg on home turf. Their opponent: Grêmio Porto Alegre. 

Central players celebrate their goal. (Photo: Conmebol)
The Brazilians had collected seven points at home during the group stage, while Central managed to mount six away points. A pretty even game was to be expected.


The main man returning into the lineup for the Argentine team was undoubtedly Marco Rubén. The top striker had been rested in the previous meeting with Nacional in Montevideo. Grêmio made two changes from their 1-0 win over Toluca. Geromel and Bobô were replaced by Bressan and Ecuadorian striker Miller Bolaños.

First half

Battles between Brazilian and Argentine sides are always something special in this competition and Central seemed to be the team dealing better with the pressure from the get-go. Yet the first opportunity fell to the home team when Miller Bolaños was played through and had the goalkeeper Sosa out of position. Victor Salazar had tracked the run nicely though and was there to bail out his team. 

14 minutes into the game, we saw the only goal. You have to say "at least there was one" these days, right? Of course it was Marco Rubén putting the ball into the back of the net. A long ball was hit forward by Central that reached his striking partner Germán Herrera. Herrera somehow scrambled the ball over to Rubén that just banged it home into the near side. It surely was not the most pretty goal, but it left Marcelo Grohe no chance. 

While Grêmio ended up with 55% of the possession, they did not make enough out of it. Two shots at the end of the night was an extreme disappointment for coach Roger and his team. After a corner, the most dangerous player of the evening Bolaños skied an attempt way over the crossbar from short distance. 

Before the end of the first half, Rubén could have made it two with a lovely lob over the head of Grohe who stood a little too far from his goal. The Argentine's shot his the crossbar and bounced back out.

Second half

The goalscorer had to stay in the dressing room for the start of the second half. Marco Rubén had picked up a slight knock and was replaced by youngster Giovani Lo Celso. This fact obviously did not help Rosario Central and their offense. They lost their target man up front.

Fans in Porto Alegre that expected their home team to step up and make the most out of their freshly gained advantage were left disappointed though. A single shot from distance produced a little danger during the second 45 minutes, fired low by Douglas. Sosa made a good save to his left. Additionally, a header from substitute Bobô was denied by Sebastián Sosa again.


Central are going home with a huge advantage, before playing the second leg in the Estadio Gigante de Arroyito. They have all the options in the world and will probably receive some nice counter chances against a Brazilian side that needs to score at least twice in Argentina.

Rubén should be ready to go for the second leg and set up a quarterfinal appearance for Rosario Central. They would meet the winner of Atlético Nacional vs Huracán.


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