With a saving goal by Rômulo, in the 44th minute of the second half, Athletico pulled out a 1-1 draw against Libertad and qualified for the quarterfinals of Libertadores tonight (5th), at Defensores del Chaco. In the first leg, Rubro-Negro had won 2-1.
The match started off quite frankly, with chances for both sides. After 15 minutes, the hosts began to rent the attack field. Despite insisting on the aerial ball, the goal came out on the bottom, with Roque Santa Cruz dribbling two inside the area and hitting cross in stoppage time.
In the second half, coach Felipão’s star shone, as the goal came with two players who entered the second stage. Khellven was fouled and Rômulo scored the qualifying goal. The coach reached his 14th unbeaten game in Hurricane.
Qualified, Athletico is now waiting for the definition between Estudiantes-ARG and Fortaleza to know their opponent in the quarterfinals. In the first game, at Castelão, there was a 1-1 draw. The return will be on Thursday (7), at 9:30 pm, in Argentina.
Who did well: Roque Santa Cruz
The 40-year-old striker remains very dangerous. Even at a slower pace than the others, he was skillful when the ball was at his feet. He passed two defenders twice in the first half: the first hit the mark, the second sent it to the back of the net. Much applauded, he left the field at 41′ of the final stage.
Who was bad: Cuello and Canobbio
The two forwards on the side produced practically nothing and even affected the performance of Vitor Roque, who played centrally (on the first leg, he shone on the right). Canobbio even tried something at first but completely hid afterwards.
Athletico’s performance: no offensive production
Hurricane entered the field with three changes in relation to the game at Arena da Baixada. Recovered from covid-19, Abner returned to the left side in Pedrinho’s spot. Erick and Canobbio replaced Christian and Pedro Rocha, changes that had been made by Felipão in the second leg of the first leg. Finally, Orejuela started as a right back, but left in the second half for Khellven, who was the starter, to enter.
All these changes did not change the team’s way of playing at first, but the team quickly retracted and called the rival went up. The players seemed to feel the weight of the game, even without so much pressure from the crowd at Defensores del Chaco, and they retreated too much. Needing a goal to qualify, Hurricane went higher in the second half and, with the dead ball, managed to get the tie at 44′.
Libertad’s performance: Forward
Paraguayans adopted a posture very similar to that of the ida. Aggressive, they opened the game a lot on the wings, managing to find the gaps in the opponent’s defense. The balls raised in the area made life difficult for the opponent and, underneath, Roque Santa Cruz made the difference. The team seems to have tired in the final half of the second half and allowed the rival’s reaction.
The first few minutes were here and there. Erick, at 3′, hit a cross face to face with Martín Silva, who managed to palm. Cuello also had a good opportunity on 7′, hitting over the goal. Caballero, with less than 1′, and Santa Cruz, at 4′ responded to the home team.
After 15′, Libertad began to take control of the match, prowling more around the attacking field and taking danger from the balls raised in the area. The goal, however, came out on the bottom, already in stoppage time. Santa Cruz received in the area, passed by Nico Hernández, Pedro Henrique and submitted a cross, with no chance of defense for Bento.
Both teams returned with halftime changes: Mendieta joined the home team and Matheus Fernandes joined the visitors. The exchanges did not change the scenario and Alvinegro continued closer to the goal. Mendieta sent it over the goal in the 9′, and Bento saved Roque Santa Cruz’s header, in the 15′.
The duel got very tense in the final minutes. Vitor Roque started in the middle and hit hard for Martín Silva to jump and spread the ball, at 23′. Ten minutes later, Bareiro submitted and Erick saved with a cart. Rômulo’s saving goal came in the 44′, when the match seemed to be heading towards a tie. Rômulo, who replaced Vitor Roque, headed firmly after a cross from Khellven’s free-kick, who also entered the second stage. Martín Silva spread, but he sent it to the net on the rebound.
Hurricane returns to the field this Saturday (9), at 8:30 pm, when it visits Goiás in the 16th round of the Brasileirão. Libertad starts the Clausura dispute only the other week, against Sportivo Ameliano.
ATHLETICO-PR 1 x 1 LIBERTAD-PAR
Competition: Copa Libertadores – Round of 16 return game
Date: July 5, 2022, Tuesday
Time: 21:30 (from Brasilia)
Place: Defensores del Chaco Stadium in Asuncion (PAR)
Referee: Andrés Cunha (URU)
assistants: Richard Trinidad (URU) and Andrés Nievas (URU)
VAR: Carlos Orbe (EQU)
goals: Roque Santa Cruz, at 48’/1st (LIB); Rômulo, at 44’/2nd (ATH)
Yellow cards: Aber Vinícius, Vitor Roque, Pedro Henrique (ATH); Ivan Piris, Daniel Garnero, Barboza (LIB).
LIBERTAD-PAR: Martín Silva; Ivan Piris, Barboza, Diego Vieira and Samudio; Marcelo Díaz (Campuzano), Diego Gómez (Mendieta), Caballero, Merlini (Barreiro) and Melgarejo; Roque Santa Cruz (Oscar Cardozo). Technician: Daniel Garnero.
ATHLETICO-PR: Benedict; Orejuela (Khellven), Pedro Henrique, Nicolás Hernández and Abner Vinícius; Hugo Moura (Matheus Fernandes), Erick and Terans (Vitor Bueno); Canobbio (Marcelo Cirino), Cuello and Vitor Roque (Romulo). Technician: Felipe.