(EFE) – Racing Club defeated Estudiantes de Mérida 2-1, but it was not enough to win Group F of the Copa Libertadores and placed second, behind Nacional de Montevideo, which in the other match on Wednesday for the Sixth and last matchday they beat Alianza Lima 2-0.
Paraguayan Lorenzo Melgarejo and Matías Rojas scored for the local, while Henry Plaza scored the only goal of the visit, which despite the defeat achieved third place and the passport to the Copa Sudamericana.
The beginning of the match showed two teams eager to seek victory, because the ‘Academy’ wanted to stay with the leadership of their area, while the Venezuelan ‘Academician’ wanted a victory to secure their passport to the South American.
At the beginning of the match, the visitor marked his intention to take the victory of Buenos Aires with a shot from Christian Flores that complicated the Chilean goalkeeper Gabriel Arias.
However, in the 14th minute the local had a certain situation with an offensive combination of Solari with Reniero that left Paraguayan Lorenzo Melgarejo in front of the goal, but his shot was deflected over the crossbar.
The goals that came from Montevideo with the Nacional celebrations against Alianza Lima generated more nerves at the Racing venue, because their illusions of finishing first in the area were fading.
Melgarejo had another goal option in the 29th minute, but the clearest option of the first stage was in discount when a hand from Galileo Del Castillo led to a penalty that Héctor Fértoli wasted with a deflected shot when he tripped while kicking.
At the beginning of the second half, the intensity was maintained and the coach of Racing, Sebastián Beccacece, bet on the income in the 57th minute of his captain and emblem Lisandro López together with Matías Rojas to seek greater depth in the game.
And four minutes later an assist from ‘Licha’ López himself found Lorenzo Melgarejo, who took a shot that left the effort of goalkeeper Alejandro Araque sterile and opened the score in favor of the local.
The joy of the premises did not last long, because six minutes later Estudiantes de Mérida reached the tie when Henry Plazas connected with a header from a corner kick sent by Christian Flores.
From that moment on, despair became flesh in the Argentine ‘Academy’, which not only needed to win but by two goals to stay with the first place in the group, since from Montevideo the news did not change and Nacional continued to win by 2-0 to Alianza Lima.
Both benches were rotated, but the advantage for Racing came late with an exquisite free kick from the entered Matías Rojas, in the 87th minute, which reached to sentence the victory but not to achieve the first place in the area.
For Estudiantes de Mérida it was not a bitter defeat because thanks to the fall of Alianza Lima in Montevideo, they also secured their passport to the South American for finishing third.