Copa Libertadores 2013: Two wins out of three ain’t bad

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With two out of the three teams in the Copa Libertadores winning this week it was a pretty successful week for Chileans in the competition with Huachipato’s win away to Grêmio the highlight.

Universidad de Chile got their Copa Libertadores campaign underway on Tuesday night with a 2-0 win over Venezuelan side, Deportivo Lara in the Estadio Nacional.

Coming into the match off the back of a 3-0 loss at the hands of Unión Española, La U dominated much of the early play but this didn’t translate into any clear cut chances.

Their main attacking threat came down the right from Sergio Velazquez but it was Sebastián Ubilla who opened the scoring in the 34th minute as he got on the end of a Ramon Fernández cross to guide it past Lara goalkeeper, Alan Liebeskind.

In the second half the visitors had chances to equalise courtesy of Zamir Valoyes who had chances in the 69th and 75th minutes but couldn’t find a way past La U goalkeeper Johnny Herrera. However following Valoyes’ last chance the home side put the match to bed with a deadly counter attack that was beautifully finished by Ubilla. The former Santiago Wanderers player curled a shot into the back of the net after Liebeskind was badly caught out of position attempting to win the ball from the Universidad de Chile attacker.

Universidad de Chile 2-0 Deportivo Lara

Iquique’s debut in the Copa Libertadores got off on the wrong foot as they lost 2-1 at the hands of Uruguayan giants, Peñarol in the Estadio Tierra de Campeones on Wednesday night.

Despite playing at home the nervousness was clearly evident for Iquique in their first appearance in the group stages of the continent’s biggest club competition. As early as the first minute Peñarol had their chances but Fabian Estoyanoff missed his chance. Four minutes later however he didn’t fluff his lines sliding the ball between the legs of Iquique goalkeeper, Rodrigo Naranjo to open the scoring for the visitors. Naranjo was in fine form and if it wasn’t for his efforts Iquique could have found themselves further down come the half time whistle.

Peñarol could have increased their lead in the seventeenth minute but Marcelo Zalayeta’s effort was ruled out. The home side also had chances of their of their own to equalise with Rodrigo Diaz and Manuel Villalobos both having opportunities.

After the break Iquique did manage to get back on level terms after Villalobos found the back of the net in the 59th minute after finishing off an excellent move by Edson Puch. With the goal behind them the home side went in search of the winner but it was their opponents who achieved that goal in the 72nd minute when a long ball from Matías Aguirregaray found goal scorer Estoyanoff who centred it for former Universidad de Chile striker, Juan Manuel Olivera to put Peñarol ahead.

The loss sees Iquique sit bottom of the table in their group alongside Veléz Sarsfield who also lost their opening group match.

Iquique 1-2 Peñarol

Coming into this match off the back of some very poor league form not much was expected of Huachipato as they travelled to Porto Alegre to take on Grêmio. In a performance that was in stark contrast to their league form they managed to score a very impressive 2-1 win over their Group 8 rivals.

There was plenty of action in the first half and the visitors, who are in only their second ever Copa Libertadores campaign, showed no fear against their more fancied opponents who had former La U star, Eduardo Vargas in their ranks. Particularly dangerous for Huachipato were Braian Rodriguez and Federico Falcone and it was these two that combined for the visitor’s opening goal in the seventeenth minute as a cross from the former allowed the latter to head home past Grêmio goalkeeper, Marcelo Grohe.

In the second half in attempt to bring the match back in their favour Grêmio coach brought on Bolivian striker Marcelo Moreno Martins but it was the visitors who were first to score in the second half to extend their lead. In the 51st minute Braian Rodriguez headed home a José Contreras cross to double Huachipato’s lead.

The two goal advantage didn’t last long as two minutes later Grêmio pulled one back from the penalty spot courtesy of Hernan Barcos after José Contreras was adjudged to have handled in the area although replays suggested it was a harsh decision. Fortunately for Huachipato despite the best efforts of their opponents they were able to hold onto to their lead for a historic victory and a much needed confidence boost.

Grêmio 1-2 Huachipato

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