BUENOS AIRES - Five-time champions Penarol
gained an edge over Argentine favourites Velez Sarsfield with a
1-0 victory in the first leg of their Libertadores Cup
semi-final at the Centenario in Montevideo on Thursday.
The teams are vying for a place in the final against the
winners of the other tie between Brazil's Santos and Cerro
Porteno of Paraguay. Santos lead 1-0 after Wednesday's first leg
in Sao Paulo.
The Uruguayans took the lead on the stroke of half-time when
veteran left-back Dario Rodriguez scored with a diving header
from a corner that gave goalkeeper Marcelo Barovero no chance.
"We know it's a small lead (but) the tie finishes there (in
Buenos Aires) and we'll go to play (the second leg) as you do
this kind of match," Rodriguez told Fox Sports, referring to
Penarol's experience of top club encounters.
"We'll turn it round in the second leg," Barovero countered.
"We controlled the ball and only lacked a goal."
The first decent chance fell to Penarol in the seventh
minute with Barovero making a diving save to prevent a
long-distance Luis Aguiar shot from finding the top right-hand
corner of the goal.
Velez then had two chances in quick succession, both laid on
by Juan Manuel Martinez, midway through the first half with
keeper Sebastian Sosa diving to save from midfielder Ricky
Alvarez and left back Emiliano Papa scooping over the bar.
Penarol's Argentine striker Alejandro Martinuccio might have
put the home side ahead close to the half hour but he shaved the
post when he turned a cross from the left goalwards.
Velez, looking for a second title after winning the South
American crown in 1994, pinned Penarol back in the second half
but could not find a way through a packed defence except when
Martinez had a goal disallowed for handball.
Barovero only had a couple of high balls to deal with
throughout the second half but up front, Velez lacked the usual
bite which brought them 24 goals in 10 previous matches in the
"I'm pleased because the most important thing was to win and
then maintain our goal intact, which we managed," Penarol coach
Diego Aguirre said.
"Velez make you play to their rhythm and it's hard to
pressure a team with such good control of the ball," he said,
explaining his team's fatigue in the second half.
"We have 90 very hard minutes to go."
England striker puts pen to paper on permanent deal
The new season is but six weeks away (in the Football League)
"Get on the weights," says expert
Estudiantes hang on for victory in bizarre season-defining match
Who would you rather have playing for your club?
12 months out, the stars look to the World Cup
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
75% of all TV is Bale
On the road to ruin
Adidas Nitrocharge for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010