(EFE) – Vélez Sarsfield won 1-0 against Barcelona de Guayaquil in the match valid for the first leg of the round of 16 of the Copa Libertadores de América.
A solitary goal by Juan Martín Lucero in the 7th minute of the game earned the Argentine team a home win in the match played at the José Amalfitani stadium in Buenos Aires, known as ‘El Fortín de Liniers’.
In the first half, and while both teams were still studying each other, a combination by Vélez’s right side ended with a center from Tomás Guidara who found an accurate header from Juan Martín Lucero, who changed the stick to Javier Burrai.
Through that goal, Barcelona had to change its script and began to depend a lot on the generation of the game for its flag: Damián Díaz.
Fabián Bustos’ team, the great surprise of the group stage of this tournament, could not accurately assist their striker and scorer Carlos Garcés, who was very isolated.
For their part, those led by Mauricio Pellegrino through the individual ability of Ricardo Centurión and the great offensive wear and tear of Juan Martín Lucero knew how to dominate the times of an intense match.
The visiting team appealed too much to the aerial centers where mainly the defender Lautaro Gianetti exhibited his great capacity for header rejections.
At the beginning of the second half, the one who appeared showing strength and solving Barcelona’s attacks was goalkeeper Lucas Hoyos who was firm to keep his fence undefeated.
The replacement of the relays inclined a Barcelona with a greater offensive presence that translated into a greater verticality but without being able to weave many options to reach the tie.
Vélez, meanwhile, through the strategy of his coach Pellegrino distributed the spare parts in the last minutes to keep his midfield fresh and be able to contain the rival’s attempts.
On a counterattack, he tried to increase the advantage but also failed to bring danger to Burrai’s goal and the match ended with Velez’s minimal victory at home.
The return match will be on July 21 in Guayaquil and the winner of this key will face in the quarterfinals the winner of the cross between Cerro Porteño and Fluminense, who yesterday in the first leg registered a controversial Brazilian victory as a visitor by 0-2 in Asuncion.