Copa Libertadores review

Week eight of the 2010 Copa Libertadores proved to be a good one for Argentina’s contenders, with all three of their teams in action winning at home. The big losers, however, were Bolivar, Deportivo Italia and Blooming, whose chances of claiming a place in the last 16 disappeared. rounds up the latest highs and lows in South America’s premier club competition.

Game of the week
Velez Sarsfield 2-1 Colo Colo
Goals: Hernan Lopez 12, Santiago Silva 28 (Velez); Ezequiel Miralles 7 (Colo Colo)

Velez’s Uruguayan strike duo made all the difference in an entertaining encounter in Liniers, engineering a rapid comeback for the hosts after Miralles had given the Chilean visitors an early lead. Maxi Moralez’s superb through-ball set up Lopez for the equaliser, with Silva nodding the hosts ahead from a free-kick. El Cacique had chances to pull level in an open game, but El Fortín held on for three vital points that take them to the brink of qualification from Group 7.

Surprise of the week
Universidad Catolica 1-1 Caracas
Goals: Jaime Bustamante 49 (Caracas); Juan Jose Morales 82 (UC)

Los Rojos del Ávila came within eight minutes of collecting three valuable points only for Morales to save the day for Los Cruzados with a fine header. The share of the spoils did little to advance either sides’ bids to qualify from Group 8. Caracas remain bottom of the section with two points, while the Chileans are only a point better off, their chances of catching Flamengo and Universidad de Chile now looking remote. 

Defending champions Estudiantes revived their flagging Group 3 campaign with a comfortable 2-0 defeat of Bolivar, the goals coming from Jose Sosa and Mauro Boselli after the restart. El Pincha now lie second, two points behind Alianza Lima, while the Bolivians remain bottom with a single point and are now out of the competition.

Cruzeiro, last year’s runners-up, overcame Deportivo Italia by the same scoreline, confirming the Venezuelan side’s elimination. Goals either side of the break by Fabinho and Pedro Ken gave A Raposa their second win in Group 7 and took them above Colo Colo into second place.

Universitario struck late to earn a 1-1 draw away to Libertad in Paraguay. The share of the spoils keeps the two sides tied together at the top of Group 4. Lanus closed the gap on them to two points thanks to a lone Santiago Salcedo penalty against Blooming, who are now out of the running having lost all four of their games to date.

Deportivo Quito furthered their cause in Group 5 with a 1-0 victory in Thursday’s all-Ecuadorian battle with Emelec. Michael Arroyo scored the all-important goal in the second half to leave Los Eléctricos, still pointless after three games, teetering on the brink. Racing Montevideo did what they had to do at home to Group 1 rivals Independiente Medellin, with Santiago Ostolaza’s solitary strike 15 minutes from time taking them level on points with pool leaders Corinthians and jeopardising the Colombian side’s hopes.

Player of the week
Luis Ramirez (Universitario)
Better known as Cachito, the 25-year-old Peruvian midfielder appeared when his side needed him most, snatching a late equaliser against Libertad with a superb right-footed drive. “It was a lovely goal and it was important for us to return to Peru with a point,” said Ramirez after keeping Universitario’s qualification hopes intact.

The stat
26 -
The number of years since Estudiantes last lost at home in the Libertadores, a 1-0 reverse to Olimpia of Paraguay in 1984.

What they said
“I’m satisfied with today’s win. We are well placed in the group now, and to be honest with you I really don’t care what happens between Velez and Colo Colo. The game in Santiago will be our decider and I’m confident that if we can carry on playing like we did today, then we’ll be fine,” Cruzeiro coach Adilson Batista reacts to his side’s defeat of Deportivo Italia.

This week’s results
Tuesday 23
Estudiantes (ARG) 2-0 Bolivar (BOL)
Libertad (PAR) 1-1 Universitario (PER) 

Wednesday 24
Lanus (ARG) 1-0 Blooming (BOL)
Universidad Catolica (CHI) 1-1 Caracas FC (VEN)
Cruzeiro (BRA) 2-0 Deportivo Italia (VEN) 

Thursday 25
Deportivo Quito (ECU) 1-0 Emelec (ECU)
Velez Sarsfield (ARG) 2-1 Colo Colo (CHI)
Racing Montevideo (URU) 1-0 Independiente Medellin (COL)