Brazil’s Cruzeiro made it two wins out of two in the group phase of the 2011 Copa Libertadores, while section rivals Estudiantes atoned for last week’s crushing defeat at A Raposa’s hands with their maiden victory of the campaign. Also making it six points out of six were Colombia’s Junior and Peru’s Universidad San Martin, with reigning champions Internacional recording the first victory of their title defence.
FIFA.com rounds up those games and the rest of the week’s events in Latin America’s premier club competition.
Game of the weekIndependiente 3-0 Penarol
Independiente produced a storming second-half display as they made a fine start to their bid to win an eighth Copa crown. Facundo Parra, Cristian Pellerano and Andres Silvera were the men on target for El Rojo, who now lead the way in Group 8, ahead of compatriots Godoy Cruz on goal difference.
Surprise of the week
*Fluminense 0-0 Nacional *
While a draw against seasoned Copa campaigners Nacional can hardly be described as a disaster, it was still a surprise to see the Brazilian champions held to their second home draw in a week. Despite their spluttering start and the need to now collect points on the road, Flu coach Muricy Ramalho said he was happy with his side’s performance. The stalemate leaves the Rio giants in third place in Group 3, which is currently topped by Argentinos Juniors, 3-1 winners over Mexico’s America on Thursday evening.
Universidad San Martin maintained their 100 per cent record in Group 1 with a 2-0 home win over in San Luis, who are pointless after their two opening games. In the other match in the section Libertad fought out a 1-1 draw away to Colombia’s Once Caldas and now lie two points adrift of the table-topping Peruvians.
Group 2leaders Junior have also made a flawless start, edging out Gremio 2-1 in Barranquilla to follow up last week’s win on the road. The Brazilians took the lead through Borges, only for Giovanny Hernandez and John Viafara to turn the game around with goals in either half. Beaten by the Colombians seven days ago, Leon de Huanuco of Peru got off the mark with a 1-0 win at home to Bolivia’s Oriente Petrolero.
Internacional and Emelec are tied at the top of Group 6 with four points apiece, having followed up last week’s 1-1 draw in Guayaquil with respective home wins over Jaguares and Jorge Wilstermann, the holders scoring four goals without reply against the Mexicans.
Fellow countrymen Cruzeiro were also in majestic form in Group 7, backing up their five-goal rout of 2009 champions Estudiantes with a 4-0 defeat of Paraguay’s Guarani at the Arena do Jacare. Meanwhile, El Pincha recovered from their mauling in Brazil seven days ago with a 1-0 victory against Deportes Tolima, a result that leaves them third in the pool, behind the Colombians on goal difference.
Player of the week
Mario Bolatti (Internacional)
The midfielder is the latest Argentinian to impress with a Brazilian club, following in the footsteps of compatriots Andres D’Alessandro and Pablo Guinazu. Known more for his defensive attributes than his scoring ability, Bolatti has nevertheless earned the adulation of the Inter fans by scoring three of the five goals the Brazilians have so far chalked up in Group 6, the latest two coming in their rout of Jaguares.
The stat 0 - The number of away teams to record victories in the week’s 11 matches. The only two visitors to avoid defeat were Libertad and Nacional, who picked up valuable draws in Colombia and Brazil respectively.
What they said“I’m pleased with the performance. We showed a lot of ambition, but there’s still a long way to go. We’ll take stock of injuries and tiredness later, but we’ve got the players to be able to fight on two fronts,” Estudiantes coach Eduardo Berizzo.