The latest round of games in the Copa Libertadores threw up plenty of surprises, with the leadership in three groups changing hands. FIFA.com has all the details in its latest weekly round-up.
Game of the week
Colo-Colo 1-1 Velez Sarsfield
Goals: Esteban Paredes 56 (Colo Colo); Santiago Silva 90 (Velez Sarsfield)
In the first game to be staged in the Chilean capital following last month’s earthquake, Colo-Colo had high hopes of giving the fans something to cheer and of moving into a qualification place in Group 7. After a cagey first-half performance, El Cacique upped the tempo in the second and were duly rewarded when Paredes intercepted Seba Dominguez’s misplaced back-pass and took the ball round Marcelo Montoya in the Velez goal before rolling it into the unguarded net.
The visitors’ evening went from bad to worse when Victor Zapata was sent off three minutes later. Easing off the accelerator, Colo-Colo then let their opponents back into the game, with Silva silencing the home fans in the third minute of stoppage time when he latched on to a long clearance and drove in a low left-footed shot. The point kept El Fortín on top in the section and heaped the pressure on the Chileans, who are third on goal difference behind Cruzeiro.
Surprise of the week
Banfield 0-2 Nacional
Goals: Sebastian Coates 34, Gonzalo Godoy 41
Lying in first place in Group 6 at the start of the game, having collected seven points from three games, Banfield were entertaining serious hopes of pulling away from the pack. Their Uruguayan guests had other ideas, however. First-half goals from defenders Coates and Godoy, who had come on in place of the injured Daniel Lembo, gave Nacional the win and took them a point clear of their hosts.
Unbeaten Corinthians strengthened their hold on Group 1 with a 1-0 win at Cerro Porteno. The Brazilians now have two home games to look forward to and are well placed to progress to the knockout stage, particularly after Racing Montevideo’s goalless draw at Independiente Medellin.
In Group 2, Sao Paulo beat bottom club Nacional of Paraguay for the second time in seven days to move into first place, thanks in no small part to Monterrey’s second draw in a week with Once Caldas. With a four-point cushion over the Mexicans in third, O Tricolor Paulista are almost through to the last 16.
Peru’s Alianza Lima missed out on the chance to beat the Brazilians to it when they went down 4-2 to domestic rivals Juan Aurich. As well as ending Alianza’s perfect start, the men from Chiclayo relegated defending champions Estudiantes to third place in Group 3, although the Argentinians do have a game in hand.
Internacional made little headway against surprise Group 5 leaders Cerro, despite the presence of a sizeable contingent of Colorado fans at the Estadio Atilio Paiva. The goalless draw keeps the Uruguayans out in front in the pool, with the Porto Alegre outfit still two points behind.
The week’s third change of leadership came in Group 8. Buoyed by wins in their opening two games, Flamengo travelled to Universidad de Chile with designs on taking another step towards the next phase. A 2-1 defeat put paid to O Mengão’s plans, however, and allowed La U to move a point clear at the halfway stage.
Player of the week
O Fenômeno was on target for Corinthians, scoring the only goal of the game against Cerro Porteno on Wednesday, his first in five matches for O Timão. The veteran striker, the overall top scorer in the FIFA World Cup™, has now scored twice in the Libertadores, his first goal coming for Cruzeiro in 1994 when he was only 17.
503 - The number of points Uruguay’s Nacional have amassed in the competition following their win at Banfield. El Bolso are now one point ahead of Argentina’s River Plate at the top of the all-time Libertadores standings.
What they said
“It’s a valuable point because it keeps us in first place. We weren’t really expecting it either. We were a man down and made a stupid mistake for their goal, and we almost paid for it. All in all it’s a very positive result against a strong Chilean team,” Velez Sarsfield striker Santiago Silva, the scorer of his side’s goal against Colo-Colo.
Banfield (ARG) 0-2 Nacional (URU)
Juan Aurich (PER) 4-2 Alianza Lima (PER)
Colo-Colo (CHI) 1-1 Velez Sarsfield (ARG)
Monarcas Morelia (MEX) 2-1 Deportivo Cuenca (EQU)
Caracas (VEN) 0-0 Universidad Catolica (CHI)
Cerro Porteno (PAR) 0-1 Corinthians (BRA)
Universidad de Chile (CHI) 2-1 Flamengo (BRA)
Monterrey (MEX) 2-2 Once Caldas (COL)
Cerro (URU) 0-0 Internacional (BRA)
Sao Paulo (BRA) 3-0 Nacional (PAR)
Independiente Medellin (COL) 0-0 Racing (URU)