Vasco's two goal victory over Libertad moves them to the top of Group 5, Corinthians beat Cruz Azul and The Strongest share the spoils with Internacional
The Strongest gained a worthy point against tough opposition in a very even match in La Paz.
In a calm first half, only half chances were created for both sides, with The Strongest only testing Muriel from distance. With Internacional struggling to adapt to the altitude, The Strongest managed to hold a grip on the first half. However, the best chance of the half came about when Leandro Damião was put through on goal and despite Vaca closing the angle, managed to cross the ball across the box, only for The Strongest to clear well.
In the 40th minute, Internacional went closest to break the deadlock when Leandro Damião hit the post with a downward header from Pablo Guinazu.
Despite Internacional’s dominance, The Strongest took the lead when Galvez’s cross down the left was failed to clear by Moldeo and Rodrigo Ramallo snuck in at the far post to slide the ball into the bottom corner.
Internacional continued to dominate possession, limiting The Strongest to shots from outside the box but finally made their chances pay with just two minutes to play. In the 88th minute, a cross was swung into the box for Gilberto to stab home with his second attempt.
The Bolivian side move up Group 1 to second place with seven points, whilst Internacional further establish their position at the top with eight points from four games in a very tight top three.
|Vasco da Gama
Vasco took a big step towards qualification with a 2-0 victory over their Paraguayan opposition.
Libertad fought bravely throughout the match but were overpowered by two goals from Juninho Pernambucano and Alecsandro after the half-time interval. In an evenly matched first half, Libertad were the happier of the two sides to go into the break level following some good chances for Vasco.
However, following half-time, Vasco were resurgent and delivered two deadly blows in the 50th and 60th minute. Initially Juninho Pernambucano beat Munoz at his near post with a shot from towards the left corner flag, and then Alecsandro confirmed the victory when his simple finish was placed past the helpless Munoz following Alan’s pass.
Despite Libertad going close in the final few minutes, Vasco da Gama were clear and deserved winners, despite Libertad having their chances in the first half. This result takes Vasco to the top of Group 5, level on points with the Paraguayan side, with just two games remaining in the group.
Corinthians leapfrogged their Mexican opponents to take the lead at the top of Group 6 with a 1-0 win in Sao Paulo.
The Brazilian side benefitted from their home advantage and created the better of the opportunities during the first half. Corinthians stretched Cruz Azul with an emphasis on width and made several openings during the first half hour.
They made their chances pay in the 36th minute when a cross from deep on the left flank by Alex was met by Danilo, who jumped highest to head low and break the deadlock in a fairly even first half.
Although Cruz Azul tested Júlio César from distance several times, they did not test the Corinthian stopper and he finished the match with a comfortable clean sheet.
Both clubs find themselves at the top of the group with just two games to play, looking in prime position to qualify.