Current Recopa holders LDU Quito left the field last night with a slim 2-1 advantage as they bid to hold on to their Recopa Sudamericana trophy; Estudiantes however will be hopeful of turning around the deficit when 'La Liga' visit La Plata on September 8.
The teams entered the pitch to an incredible reception in Quito's 'Casa Blanca', with fireworks, flares and chants emanating from every corner of the packed stadium. The cauldron atmosphere was reflected in a pulsating first half, punctuated with 10 minutes of incredible action.
It was the 'Azucena' who took the lead, scoring after eight minutes of the first half. Argentine ex-Racing Club forward Hernan Barcos used his considerable height to pluck a cross out of Pincha keeper Augustin Orion's hands, heading it home.
Estudiantes wasted no time in hitting back, having the game levelled just four minutes later. Defender Marcos Rojo fired in a close-range rebound after good work from Leandro Benitez out wide. And the crowd barely had time to catch their breath again before Liga found themselves ahead once more. Barcos again made the difference, cutting back on his left foot and releasing an exquisite shot to squeeze the ball past Orion, marking his second goal of the night.
After this explosion it was doubtful the remainder of the night could live up to the example, and so it proved as the game slowed in tempo. Both teams were more or less satisfied with the scoreline as it stood, and so the second half proved to be a dull affair with moments of inspiration few and far between. Estudiantes will be encouraged by how they dealt with the considerable altitude disadvantage - and of course with LDU Quito, a great team in their own right - and will look forward to welcoming the Ecuadoreans to Argentina in just under two weeks.