Colón de Santa Fe returned to the Copa Libertadores after a 12-year absence with a 2-1 victory over Petrol in a match played on Tuesday that marked the start of the group stage of South America’s highest club tournament.
After a good collective play that finished with a shot by Luis Miguel “Pulga” Rodrguez after a clearing by Uruguayan goalkeeper Kevin Dawson, the Argentine team, champion of the Argentine League Cup in 2021 and runner-up in the Copa Sudamericana in 2019, went ahead after 31 minutes.
Petrol, the five-time champion of the competition, advanced his lines in the second half and managed to keep the match balanced against a challenger who had lost his fluidity in the opening 45 minutes.
Pablo Ceppelini, a midfielder, restored the temporary tie 20 minutes from time with a fantastic strike from outside the area that he placed well beyond goalkeeper Leonardo Burián’s grasp.
Colón scored the winning goal after a throw-in found Facundo Faras in the area, who controlled the ball with his chest and modified his shot near to a stick to determine the final result at 90 minutes when it appeared that both teams would divide the points.
In the other Group G encounter, Olimpia and Cerro Porter drew 0-0 in a contest that brought the Paraguayan soccer classic to the continental scene.
The two greats of Guarani football met again in the Libertadores after 23 years and played their 33rd encounter in this competition in front of a sold-out Defensores del Chaco stadium.
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Athlético Paranaense’s visit to Caracas ended in a 0-0 draw for Group B, despite a strong performance by goalkeeper Alain Baroja, who made nine saves against the Brazilian team’s shots.