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Copa Libertadores: Grêmio 1 Huachipato 2

Wagner Meier

Grêmio suffered their first defeat at the new Arena on Wednesday night as they lost 2-1 to Huachipato of Chile in the opening round of this year’s Copa Libertadores.

Grêmio coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo picked his strongest line up for the game, which included new signings André Santos, Hérnan Barcos and Adriano, but the team failed to gel and were defeated by a Chilean team who were missing three of their best players and said to be in a crisis domestically, with one point and no goals scored in their first three games.

Huachipato took the lead after just 16 minutes when Brian Rodriguez broke down the left hand side of the home team’s defence and his cross was met by by Ferderico Falcone, who was unmarked in the six-yard box, to open the scoring.

Grêmio looked like a team that barely knew each other and struggled to make any real chances as the half progressed. If the Arena crowd was restless at the performance on the pitch then things got even worse during the half-time break as the ground went into darkness as the lights went out.

Fortunately for the away team they were soon back on and they started the second half strongly and increased their lead to 2-0 on the 50 minute mark. Contreras progressed down the right hand side and crossed into the middle where Rodriguez outjumped Cris to score a superb header from the penalty spot.

Grêmio got back into the game just three minutes later when Contreras handled a shot from Barcos. The pirate stepped up himself to convert the penalty, his first goal for Grêmio, to give the home side a chance of getting back into the game.

But despite Luxemburgo throwing on more attackers the away side held out for a deserved victory, leaving Grêmio with much to do if they want to progress in the Libertadores.


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