Rodriguez goal edges Penarol in front
© Getty Images

A goal by Dario Rodriguez just before the break gave Uruguayan giants Penarol a valuable 1-0 win over Argentina's Velez Sarsfield in the first leg of their Copa Libertadores' semi-final tie on Thursday.

Velez controlled the first half and they created the best chances. Goalkeeper Sebastian Sosa saved one shot from Juan Manuel Martinez, who then shot wide a few minutes later. Emiliano Papa also had a good chance to score, as did striker Santiago Silva.

Penarol also had a couple of chances with Matias Mier forcing a good saved out of Marcelo Barovero, while a shot by Alejandro Martinuccio came back off the crossbar. But in the last move of the first half, Rodriguez headed in from a corner to give Penarol a 1-0 lead.

After the break Penarol tightened up their defence and made it very difficult for Velez to create chances. Martinez headed in a cross but the goal was disallowed for handball.

Penarol can make their first final appearance in 24 years - they won it in 1987 - if they get a draw or better in the second leg next week in Argentina.