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Grêmio 1 LDU 0 - Luxemburgo's team go through on penalties

Grêmio secured their place in this year's Copa Libertadores on Wednesday night with a penalty shootout victory over Ecuadorian side LDU at the new Grêmio Arena.

Grêmio went into the game one goal down after losing the first leg 1-0 in Quito last Wednesday and LDU made it clear from the start that their only interest was to defend their lead.

Over 40,000 Grêmio fans made it into their new arena for its first official match and created an intimidating atmosphere from before kick-off as they looked to be their teams 12th man in getting them into the Libertadores.

The game started at a quick pace, with Grêmio hurrying LDU to regain possession and put the visitors on the back foot. However, the pitch made it difficult for Grêmio to move the ball quickly as it was too hard and made it difficult to instantly get the ball under control, allowing LDU to intercept.

The first half was quite a poor affair without many chances, with the only real opportunity falling to the hopeless Marcelo Moreno who volleyed wide from 5 yards out. 

New signing Eduardo Vargas looked bright but Grêmio were relying on long balls into Moreno, who was constantly outfought by the LDU defence.

Coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo made two changes at half time that would help turn the game. He took off Moreno and midfielder Fernando, bringing on André Lima and Willian Jose, and switched to a 4-3-3 formation, allowing Elano to impact the game in a more central area.

And it was this change witch changed the game. On 62 minutes the former Manchester City midfielder fired a long range strike into the top corner to level the tie over the two legs and send the home supporters wild. So wild that the fence behind one goal collapsed and a number of fans had to be taken to hospital with minor injuries.

Grêmio continued to press but could not break through LDU, despite the away team being reduced to 10 men, and the game went to penalties.

LDU looked set to cause an upset during the penalty shootout when they took a 2-1 lead, but after Grêmio levelled the score at 4-4, it was keeper Marcelo Grohe who became the hero by saving LDU's sudden death penalty. 


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