Atlético Paranaense earn group stage Copa Libertadres win as Adriano makes comeback appearance
Atlético Paranaense opened their Copa Libertadores campaign with a win on Thursday night courtesy of a brave header from Paulinho Dias.
The 25-year-old stooped low to head the only goal of the game to ensure the Brazilian side overcame Bolivian’s The Strongest 1-0.
The fixture was well publicised due to it being an important Libertadores match, however it also marked the return of former Brazil national team forward Adriano.
The 31-year-old returned to competitive action in the 86th minute replacing Éderson but failed to mark his return with a particular piece of outstanding play.
That was to be expected from Adriano though as this is his first competitive match since March 2012.
Pleasingly he looks candidly fitter than he has in previous years and will hope to help his new side in the remainder of the campaign.
The opening round win for Atlético means they are joint top of the Group 1 table alongside Argentine team Vélez Sarsfield, who incidentally are the Brazilian sides next opponents.
That away fixture on February 25th should prove to be a stern test for Atlético but they will go into the game with confidence following this opening group stage win.