BUENOS AIRES - Velez Sarsfield, among
the favourites for the Argentine and South American titles, sank
to the bottom of their Libertadores Cup group on Thursday after
a 2-1 defeat in Chile.
Record seven-times South American champions Independiente
dropped to the foot of Group Eight after a 3-1 home defeat by
fellow Argentine debutants Godoy Cruz.
Argentine striker Roberto Nanni scored his sixth goal of the
competition for Group Five leaders Cerro Porteno in their 1-1
draw at home to Deportivo Tachira of Venezuela in Asuncion.
Velez, who won the Libertadores and world club titles in
1994, lost 2-1 away to Union Espanola, their second defeat to
Chilean opposition in successive weeks in Group Four.
At the halfway stage in the group after three matches, Velez
have three points, three less than surprise leaders Caracas FC
and one behind Espanola and Chilean champions Universidad
Martin Liguera shocked Velez with a goal after three minutes
and Braulio Leal gave Espanola a two-goal cushion in the 26th
minute, heading the ball home after goalkeeper Marcelo Barovero
had parried his first effort following a fine run and cross by
left back Fernando Cordero.
Velez hit back in the 69th when Uruguayan striker Santiago
Silva headed back across goal and midfielder David Ramirez
At their Libertadores de America stadium in Buenos Aires
Independiente, who won their last of their seven titles in 1984,
went ahead after 16 minutes when striker Facundo Parra headed in
a free kick.
But an own goal by Hernan Fredes and a 25-metre strike by
midfielder Ariel Rojas either side of the half hour put Godoy
Cruz in the driving seat. Striker Ruben Ramirez lobbed keeper
Hilario Navarro for their third early in the second half.
After three matches, Godoy Cruz and Uruguay's five-times
champions Penarol have six points apiece with the Argentines
holding the better goal difference. LDU Quito and Independiente
have three points each.
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