Tigre vs Olimpia
Monumental la Victoria, Victoria
Last 16, 1st leg
(1-0) 2-1 – Peñalba, Perez Garcia; Miranda
I haven’t run a background check on Nestor Gorosito but for some reason he has it in for Paraguayans taking the scalps of Cerro, Libertad and now beating Olimpia in the first leg to complete a hattrick of wins against teams from the land of Larissa Riquelme. Ruben Botta was magical once again but both goals could have been defended better by Olimpia who have looked very frail at the back recently.
Gabriel Peñalba’s opener, a tidy left-foot shot on the turn, came after they had been outnumbered at the back post and let the ball bounce in the box. The second goal, a header from Matias Pérez Garcia who stands at 5 ft 4 in (1.65 m), was almost a carbon copy of the goal conceded against Sol de América. As the cross from Leone, Olimpia had one man going to close the ball, three defenders in the box to cover the three Tigre attackers with three Olimpia players on the edge of the penalty area marking one forward. Yet the defence were dragged towards the front post leaving space for the diminutive Perez Garcia to notch his fourth of the tournament.
A 2-0 scoreline would have made life very difficult for El Decano in the second leg who can also feel aggreived that they were denied two penalties in the first half with Omar Ponce having a poor game in charge (interestingly he was also the official during Tigre’s home win against Palmeiras, a 90th minute goal with the Brazilians down to ten men). However Herminio Miranda gave the Paraguayans a lifeline with a wonderful freekick with 12 minutes to go, curling the ball over the wall and into the top corner. Not bad for a centreback.
The tie is very much alive but Ever Almeida must address his defensive issues, right now the side are too prone to conceding from crosses into the box.
By Ralph Hannah