BUENOS AIRES - Independiente of Argentina
beat Uruguay's Penarol 3-0 at home as the sides, champions 12
times between them, renewed the longest standing Libertadores
Cup rivalry in Group Eight on Thursday.
It was a good night for Argentine clubs as 1985 champions
Argentinos Juniors beat America of Mexico 3-1 in Group Three at
the Diego Armando Maradona ground with two goals by Paraguayan
striker Santiago Salcedo.
Independiente scored second-half goals by striker Facundo
Parra, midfielder Cristian Pellerano and substitute Andres
Silvera for their eighth win over Penarol in 14 meetings since
South America's Champions League equivalent was first played in
A dull, defensive first half at the Libertadores de America
stadium gave way to an exciting second 45 minutes which recalled
big clashes between the teams in the 1960s and 1970s with
flowing, end-to-end football and a string of chances.
"He asked us to play a little further upfield and keep more
possession," Independiente captain Eduardo Tuzzio, voted man of
the match, told reporters summarising coach Antonio Mohamed's
halftime team talk.
Mohamed, who took charge 10 matches into the season in
October, told reporters he was pleased with how his side had
"I think this was the best the team have done since I've
been at the helm," he added.
Independiente's improvement paid immediate dividends when
Parra put them ahead less than two minutes into the second half
with a volley from midfielder Patricio Rodriguez's chipped pass.
Goalkeeper Hilario Navarro had to save sharply from Juan
Manuel Olivera on the left to prevent an equaliser and Pellerano
scored Independiente's second with a low shot from 25 metres
following a clearance.
Penarol, five-times winners but a long way from the team
voted by FIFA's statistics body as South America's best of the
20th century, cleared two more chances off the line before
Silvera completed the win from a neat layoff by fellow
substitute Leonel Nunez.
Independiente are also far from the 1984 vintage that won a
record seventh title and beat Liverpool for the world crown but
they are improving fast under Mohamed, who steered them to the
Copa Sudamericana last year.
Ecuador's LDU Quito, winners in 2008, and Argentine
debutants Godoy Cruz are the other teams in Group Eight.
Argentinos, in the competition for the first time in 25
years, lead Group Three with four points from two matches.
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