A disappointing evening for both Paraguayan sides as Olimpia and later Cerro Porteño were beaten in their opening group games in Rosario and Ibagué respectively.
Newell’s Old Boys vs Olimpia
Estadio Marcelo Bielsa
(0-0) 3-1 – Scocco (pen), Orsán, Rodriguez; Bareiro
Two wily coaches engaged in an intriguing battle for 70 minutes until Alejandro Silva’s foul on Maxi Rodriguez gave away a penalty and the opening goal which seemed to release the pressure valve. Martino got his tactics spot on, refusing to press so high that he would leave space in behind and patiently prodding at Olimpia’s deep-lying defence which was well organised.
The glut of goals in the final 20 minutes showed that Olimpia are susceptible when they try and be more adventurous although in the first half they had several good chances with Ferreyra looking sharp. Ultimately though the quality of Newell’s showed through, Gabriel Heinze was given man of the match for a typical robust defensive display while Maxi Rodriguez won the penalty and was on hand to turn in the final goal at the back post.
The game was marred by allegations of racial abuse from the Paraguayan defender Salustiano Candia who was called a “negro de mier**” by Maximiliano Urruti. It led to fractious scenes at the final whistle, the matter is said to have been dealt with internally.
Deportes Tolima vs Cerro Porteño
Estadio Manuel Murillo Toro
(1-0) 2-1 – Cardozo (og), Silva; Martinez
A poor performance from the azulgrana who haven’t started the season well – they found themselves unable to keep much possession on a heavy pitch against the Pijao. The opener was an own goal, with Luis Cardozo under no pressure the cross seemed to just strike him and bounce into the net. David Silva added a second in the second half by meeting another cross from the left.
The one positive was a goal for debutant Williams Martínez who headed in Fabbro’s freekick from a significant distance. Plenty of work to do before the next game, a match that Jorge Fossati will not be allowed to watch from the touchline having been sent off after 52 minutes (which only enraged the big Uruguayan further!).
By Ralph Hannah