Copa Libertadores: Magic Ganso goal helps Santos to victory

The young playmaker curled in an outstanding free kick to give the defending champions the lead, while Flamengo threw away a three-goal lead to draw against Olimpia
Juan Aurich
A wonderful long-range finish from Ganso was the highlight of Santos' comfortable 3-1 victory over Peru's Juan Aurich, as they joined The Strongest and Internacional at the summit of Group 1.

Chasing victory in order to keep pace with the group leaders, the Peixe were shocked after 14 minutes when the home side took the lead. Luis Tejada took full advantage of slack marking from the Brazilians to turn unhassled in the area, and fire the ball decisively past Rafael. Santos struck back through Jorge Fucile; the Uruguayan international was the first to react to an awkward ball into the 18 yard box and drilled the ball home.

The lead came courtesy of Ganso, who just before half time converted a marvellous long-range free kick. From over 30 metres out, the No. 10 gave Aurich keeper Diego Penny no chance with a perfectly-struck effort. Borges sealed victory after the break, scoring off the post to end the Peruvians' hopes of taking something from the match.

Santos are thus tied with Inter and The Strongest, who have all taken six points from their opening three fixtures. The two Brazilian sides remain favourites to qualify, however, as the Bolivians must visit both Vila Belmiro and Porto Alegre before the end of the group stage.
An incredible comeback from visitors Olimpia robbed Flamengo of victory in the Engenhao, as Ronaldinho and co. stormed to a 3-0 lead before conceding three times in the last 15 minutes.

The first half began in a niggling manner, with the number of fouls from both sides stifling play and preventing the game from flowing. Flamengo keeper Paulo Victor had to pull off a brilliant save to deny an Olimpia opener, using all his gymnastic ability to keep out Sergio Orteman's header. It was Flamengo, however, who took the lead, when Argentine midfielder Dario Bottinelli found space on the edge of the area and defeated Martin Silva with a well-placed strike.

The Fla came out after half time hungry to kill off the game, and it took an accomplished save from Silva to deny Ronaldinho seconds after the restart. The Uruguayan keeper was then the villain of the piece, conceding a penalty when he cut down Vagner Love in full stride. Ronaldinho stepped up, and buried the ball in the bottom-left corner to double the advantage. Flamengo were just getting better, and an outrageous pass from R10 set up the third - effortlessly converted by Luiz Antonio.

A storming free kick from Pablo Zeballos appeared scant consolation for the away side, but it kicked off a wonderful comeback. Luis Caballero brought Olimpia back within one goal with just six minutes left, and a precise injury-time strike from Vladimir Marin left the Paraguayans ecstatic as they somehow salvaged a point when all appeared lost.

The draw means Flamengo still go top of Group 2, but the Brazilians hold just a one point advantage over Lanus and Olimpia, tied in second with three games still to play.