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Cerro Porteño look to overturn one-goal deficit to reach Copa Libertadores group stage

Cerro Porteño v River Plate - Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2019
Cerro Porteño v River Plate - Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2019
Louis Smith
ANALYST
Modified 26 Feb 2020, 23:51 IST
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Tonight, Cerro Porteno, one of Paraguay’s most popular teams will be looking to qualify for the Copa Libertadores group stage as they take on Barcelona SC of Ecuador.

The first leg of the tie ended in a 1-0 loss for the Paraguayan side whose fans expect them to qualify for the competition. 

The match in Ecuador saw them go close on a few occasions to getting an important away goal but they couldn’t find a breakthrough. 

The goal which they did concede came due to an error from Rodrigo Munoz, who misjudged a free-kick. However at the Estadio General Pablo Rojas thing are expected to be different, especially with the strong record Cerro have there. 

Cerro's greatest achievement in the competition to date is getting to the quarter-finals which they have managed on four occasions, the last time being in 2011.

At home last season In the Libertadores last season,  Cerro went unbeaten, this was very impressive considering they came up against strong opposition in Nacional, Atlético Mineiro and River Plate. 

The match against Atlético Mineiro was something which midfielder Mathías Villasanti described in an interview to the World football Index that it “was one of the most beautiful things in the tournament” after they went a goal down only to reply with four goals before half time.

Against River, the atmosphere was electric and saw fans light fireworks in the stadium, something which caught worldwide media attention, however, this led to a one-game stadium ban due to the use of pyrotechnics. Following that Cerro released the following message on their club website.

"To assist as a family, with the encouragement of healthy encouragement, leaving aside the use of pyrotechnic devices, flares, and/or flags that do not meet the regulatory measures "

Cerro, in their last outing at home in the league against Guairena were 2-0 up and outplaying their opponents they slacked off in the last ten minutes, which saw them slump to a 2-2 draw in a game they were expected to win.

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On Sunday they put in a solid performance, to draw 1-1 away to rivals Club Olimpia who have won the last four Paraguayan league titles. It was a game which both sides had chances to win but a draw overall was the right result and a positive one for Cerro.

Emmanuel Adebayor has been picked up by Cerro rivals Olimpia.
Emmanuel Adebayor has been picked up by Cerro rivals Olimpia.

If Cerro fail to qualify for the group stages it could see them fall further behind Club Olimpia who have just recently signed Emmanuel Adebayor and Derlis Gonzalez, whereas Cerro failed to make any key signings - something the fans are not too pleased about.

Can Cerro overturn the one-goal deficit and make the Copa Libertadores group stage for the third year in a row?

If they do win they will be placed in group A alongside, Flamengo, Independiente del Valle and Junior.

Published 26 Feb 2020, 23:51 IST
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