Fagner urges Universidad caution
Vasco da Gama defender Fagner has urged his team-mates to beware the away goals rule when they host Universidad de Chile in their Copa Sudamericana semi-final first leg tomorrow. Brazilian giants Vasco will try to gain a clear advantage in Rio de Janeiro before the return match in Santiago.
Right-back defender Fagner told Lancenet.com.br that Vasco should must be cautious, however. "We have to pay attention to the away-goals rule," he said. "It will be a 180-minute match and we need to be intelligent. We don't want to be surprised by Universidad like Flamengo and Arsenal were. It will not be an easy game in which we'll score two or three goals. We want to win and the home fans will help us a lot."
Keeper Fernando Prass, meanwhile, said: "We know Universidad are a good team with good players in midfield and the attackers in front of them. We cannot give them room to get on the ball." Vasco will be without forward Eder Luis, who has had a broken toe and will be out for up to two months.
Universidad's Argentinian midfielder Gustavo Lorenzetti, meanwhile, insists they want to reproduce the form they showed in their last match in Brazilian soil, a 4-0 win over Flamengo in the first leg of the last 16. Lorenzetti told El Mercurio newspaper: "Flamengo were very tough rivals on paper, but Universidad were great and managed to put in a great performance. We hope we can do the same things we did that day."
Both Vasco and Universidad are on the verge of making it into the final of this competition for the first time. Defender Lorenzetti said: "It's very nice and I hope we can make it. This isn't pressure. Pressure is not for teams who play this type of game but for the ones who fight against relegation."
Lorenzetti was mindful of the threat posed by Vasco. "They are having a great campaign and are very dangerous in terms of their attacking play," he said. "However, we are aware of their power and we hope we can keep them out."
In the other semi-final tie, Ecuadorian giants Liga Deportiva Universitaria and the reigning Argentinian champions Velez Sarsfield clash in Quito on Thursday.