Olimpia vs Atletico Mineiro
Defensores del Chaco, Asunción
(1-0) 2-0 – Alejandro Silva, Wilson Pittoni
Job done. Olimpia won at home and didn’t concede an away goal. In a surprisingly open game with Mineiro seemingly unable to cover Olimpia’s midfield three (which became four when Salguiero dropped deep) there were plenty of chances and it was Alejandro Silva who broke the deadlock with a superbly taken goal. The wing-back ran into the space available in the centre of the pitch and despite having cut onto his weaker left-foot he opted to shoot rather than pass and drilled a low effort off the post and into the net, not bad for a former Pizza Delivery Boy.
Mineiro had their chances but were thwarted constantly by a monstruous Martin Silva (Spanish speakers can listen to his pre-match tunnel speech here), the Uruguayan goalkeeper was prboably man of the match and undoubtedly the reason Olimpia kept their 4th cleansheet in the previous 6 games in the competition. Even the great Ronaldinho was unable to weave his magic, marked out the game by Eduardo Aranda, and he was left fuming on the bench after being hauled off on 65 minutes by Cuca.
Just as it seemed Almeida had settled for a 1-0 win (taking off Salgueiro for Carlos Paredes) they doubled the lead in stoppage time. Another substitute, Enzo Prono, won a freekick on the edge of the box and Wilson Pittoni took charge. His delicate chip over the wall was lacking power but so accurate that it left the goalkeeper and his defender in no-man’s land, the latter blocking the former and both watching the ball sail into the roof of the net. Almeida stood on the touchline arms aloft with that satisfaction of knowing they had made themselves firm favourite to win their fourth Copa Libertdaores trophy.
By Ralph Hannah