Nacional Edge Peñarol In Exciting Clásico

Nacional closed in on the Uruguayan Apertura Championship, after edging fierce rivals Peñarol 1-0 in front of over 40,000 fans at the Centenario stadium in Montevideo on Sunday...

Nacional climbed to the top of the Uruguayan Apertura Championship, after a vital triumph over crosstown rivals Peñarol in a very exciting clásico on Sunday.

The only goal of the match was scored by Sergio Blanco, when he converted a penalty kick in the 72nd minute.

Gerardo Pelusso's team started strongly, but both teams had clear-cut opportunities to take the lead in the first half.

Although it seemed that at any moment one of the two sides would break the deadlock, Pablo Cavallero and Leonardo Burian, the respective goalkeepers of both sides, pulled off a number of extraordinary saves.

After the break it was much of the same, as both teams pushed forward in numbers, leaving huge holes for their opponents to take advantage of.

In the 72nd minute Blanco fired Nacional ahead from the penalty spot, and Santiago Garcia, who had just entered the field, was ejected for fighting an opponent.

Because of their numerical advantage Peñarol looked more aggressive when moving forward, but although they came close to scoring on several occasions, they were kept out by Burian, who put on an exceptional performance.

Towards the end of the match Peñarol almost drew level with a powerful Antonio Pacheco free-kick, but it was sensationally kept out by the reflexes of Burian.

With the victory, Nacional moved closer towards the championship, with 29 points, one more than second placed Danubio, with 28 points.

Gregory Sica,