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Copa Libertadores: Vagner Love strike leads Flamengo to narrow victory, Atletico Nacional draw in eight-goal thriller

The Colombians were held 4-4 by Godoy Cruz who were thankful for a Leandro Caruso triple completed in the last minute, while Flamengo recorded their first win of the Copa campaign

Flamengo
1-0
Emelec
A solitary strike from former CSKA Moscow star Vagner Love was all Flamengo needed to record their first victory of the Libertadores group stage, as they held off a tenacious Emelec side to go to the summit of Group 2.

Having taken a point from Lanus in their opening fixture, the Brazilians knew that victory in Rio de Janeiro would be enough to lift them above Emelec and Olimpia and to the top of the pile after the first two games. They struggled to break down their opponents, however, and were guilty of profligacy in front of goal when reaching the final third.

It was Love, who returned to Fla in 2012 after a drawn-out transfer saga with CSKA, who proved the difference. The braided striker hit home just three minutes after half time, after being played through by Ronaldinho.

The Brazilians return to Copa action on March 15, when they host Paraguayan champions Olimpia. Emelec, meanwhile, will take on Lanus in Guayaquil on March 20.

Godoy Cruz
4-4
Atletico Nacional
An incredible display of no-holds-barred attacking football saw Godoy Cruz and Atletico Nacional share the points in a sensational tie, where Leandro Caruso and Luis Mosquera both put in performances of the very highest quality.

Caruso handed the home side the lead after just eight minutes, only for Mosquera to equalise almost instantly following less than impeccable defending from the Tomba backline. The early strikes set the trend for the game; Leonardo Sigali's own goal put the Colombians in the lead, but Ruben Ramirez hit back to send the sides in level at the break.

More goals were expected from the sizeable support in Mendoza, and they were not to be disappointed. Dorlan Pabon put Nacional back in the lead, before Caruso notched his second of the night to bring the game to 3-3. A smooth Pabon finish, his fifth goal in three Copa games, appeared to have finally killed off the hosts; but Caruso had other ideas, and struck with his third and the eighth of the evening in the last minute to bring the stadium to its feet.

Nacional stay top of Group 8 with seven points and 10 goals in their three matches so far, while Godoy Cruz lie joint-second alongside Universidad de Chile with four points.

Junior
0-1
Bolivar
A late goal from William Ferreira condemned Junior to a shock home defeat in the Estadio Metropolitano, as Bolivar took full advantage of their rival's slack finishing despite spending the vast majority of the match on the back foot.

The Colombians started off looking the most dangerous team, although chances were far from abundant against a Bolivar team determined to acquit themselves well in Barranquilla; going so far as to stay an entire week in the Caribbean city to acclimatise to the suffocating heat. Braynner Garcia's cross-shot went close to opening the scoring, but the full-back saw his effort crash back off the post.

The second half developed in much the same way as the opening period, with Junior dictating the tempo without breaking through. Luis Paez was guilty of squandering a handful of opportunities, while Bolivar keeper Marcos Arguello was equal to everything thrown at him. Just as a draw appeared inevitable, however, there was a late sting in the tail.

The Colombian defence dawdled as the visitors took a short corner, and with his marker static Ferreira nodded home with 10 minutes to go to give the Bolivians a memorable victory on the road. Defeat means Junior sit rock-bottom in Group 3 with only one point from a possible nine, while Bolivar leapfrog Universidad Catolica to sit second behind Union Espanola.

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