Copa Libertadores - Group Stage Matchday 2 Round-Up
Following last weeks opening matchday of the Copa Libertadores, teams took part once again this week in South America's top competition for matchday 2. This week games took place on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, meaning three days of action-packed football.
Group A: Holders River Plate followed up their draw last week away in Peru with a goalless draw at Home to Palestino, a side who have already caused a few surprises just to get to the group stage following wins over Independiente Medellín and Talleres de Córdoba in the qualifying rounds. River Plate were heavy favourites going into the game but didn't live up to their billing and was once again left frustrated.
They will have to step up their game in matchday 3 as they take on high flying Internacional who beat Alianza Lima in an impressive 2-0 victory thanks to a brace from former Roma Forward Nicolas Lopez. Internacional are the only side in their group to win a game and sit top of the group by 4 points.
Group B: In group B this week ongoing troubles in Venezuela meant that Deportivo Lara could not fly to play Brazilian side Cruzeiro. The game has been rearranged for Thursday 28th of March at 00:30 AM (GMT).
This meant the only game played in group B was between Emelec and Hurrican. The match was a dull 0-0 draw with both sides lacking any real chances throughout, meaning that Cruzeiro still leads the way despite playing only one game.
Group C: This week in group C, current Paraguayan champions, Olimpia took on Universidad de Concepción who went into the game on a high following their thrilling 5-4 win on matchday 1.
Olimpia took the lead with 16 minutes on the clock with a goal from Tabare Viudez. Olimpia's lead lasted just 12 minutes when Universidad pulled level through a goal from Nicolas Orellana adding to his goal last week. Olimpia had chances to take the lead with the best one coming on 63 minutes when attacking midfielder William Mendieta headed over the bar 7 yards from goal and the game ended 1-1, an excellent point for Universidad away from home.
The other game in group C saw Sporting Cristal of Peru try and bounce back from their heartbreaking late goal they conceded in matchday 1. Sporting got off to a perfect start taking the lead inside 3 minutes with a goal from veteran striker Emanuel Herrera. Their lead did not last long, however, after Godoy Cruz equalised through defender Tomas Cardona. Both teams cancelled each other out, and the game finished 1-1. Meaning that the only team to win a game after two games in the group, Universidad de Concepción are the early leaders in group C.
Group D: This week group D saw plenty of goals. Flamengo took on Ecuadorian side L.D.U. Quito. Flamengo dominated the game as they won 3-1 thanks to goals from Everton Ribeiro, Gabriel, and Fernando Uribe. L.D.U Quito missed an opportunity from the spot at 1-0 which cost them in the game with Jefferson Intriago having his penalty saved by Diego Alves. L.D.U Quito did, however, manage to add a late consolation goal from the spot in the last minute through Cristian Martinez, who was not on the pitch to take the first penalty.
Penerol of Uruguay were also winners in group D with a 4-0 thumping of San Jose. Penerol dominated the game from start to finish, and in truth, the 4-0 scoreline could have been more. Penerol starting quick out of the blocks and took the lead through Lucas Viatri inside 2 minutes. They added a further two goals before half time with the goalscorers being Cristian Lema and 20-year-old Agustin Canobbio Graviz. Then four minutes into the second half Viatri added a second for him and a fourth for Penerol with a lovely dink over the keeper. Gaston Rodriguez had a chance from the spot to make it 5-0 but saw his shot saved by the goalkeeper. San Jose boss William Ramallo will have some thinking to do before his next match as his side failed to have a single chance on target and only one shot through-out the whole game.
Group E: Following on from match-day 1, both Cerro Porteño and Nacional made it two wins from two in their respective matches.
Cerro Porteño who last week earned a surprise win away to Atlético Mineiro, this time they were heavy favourites going into their game with Zamora. Cerro went 2-0 up in the game thanks to two goals from Nelson Valdez. Zamora did pull one back through Guillermo Miguel Paiva Ayala, but they couldn't, however, find a second goal which meant Cerro were victorious in the end winning 2-1.
Nacional added to Atlético Mineiro misery with a 1-0 win. The goal came in the 72nd Minute with a header from former Sampdoria forward Gonzalo Bergessio. Leaving Minero with plenty of hard work to do in their remaining four games.
Group F: In group F this week, Brazilian champions Palmeiras, who were playing in blue instead of their traditional green lived up to expectations with a 3-0 win at home to Melgar. On target for Palmeiras were Felipe Melo, Ricardo Goulart and Deyverson. The Palmeiras defence so far in the two games has been solid, and they are yet to concede.
San Lorenzo managed their first 3 points of the campaign thanks to a 1-0 win over Junior FC. Junior FC played most of the game with ten men as Gabriel Fuentes was sent off following an elbow to San Lorenzo left back Damian Perez. The game looked like it was going to end up 0-0 until in the 78th minute a strike from Roman Martinez put San Lorenzo 1-0 up and that's how the game finished.
Group G: Athletico Paranaense, the champions of last years Copa Sudamericana which is the South American equivalent of the Europa League, earned their first win in this years Libertadores. They took on Jorge Wilstermann, who in the first game earned a creditable draw against Boca Juniors. Athletico PR proved too much for the Bolivian side as they thumped them 4-0 creating many chances throughout the game. The goalscorers for Athletico PR were Marco Ruben, Tomas Andrade, Renan Lodi and Bruno.
Also earning their first win of the 2019 competition were last years runners up Boca Juniors as they took on Columbian side Tolima. The first half was a dull affair as Boca failed to impress. In the second half, it was a different story as three minutes into the second half Boca were handed the lead when Tolima Forward Marco Perez put the ball into his own net.
A cross from Emmanuel Mas was met by the powerful head of Dario Benedetto eight minutes later to make it 2-0.
The third goal came from a quick counter from Boca, and two former West Ham players combined as Carlos Tevez found Mauro Zarate who took his chance and wrapped things up with the game finishing 3-0 to the side from Buenos Aires.
Group H: After last weeks victory Libertad sacked their manager following off the field antics. This did not affect them as they picked up from where they left off with a surprising win away at Gremio. Gremio who dominated much of the game and had the majority of chances were unable to break the Paraguayan sides lock and eventually paid the price as a goal from Antonio Bareiro just before half time was enough to take the points to Paraguay.
The other game in the group was between Deportivo Universidad Católica and Rosario Central. It was Catolica who took the lead in the first half through a calm finish from Edson Puch, which looked like it would be the only goal of the game until in the 92nd Minute of the match, Duvan Vergara lobbed the keeper from close range to put his side back on level terms. Just moments later clumsy defending from Rosario gifted a spot-kick to the home side, and Luciano Aued stepped up and scored the penalty to give his team the 3 points.