Gremio and Athletico claim narrow victories in the Copa Sudamericana
The Copa Sudamericana is back in full swing and two Brazilian sides in the competition claimed wins in the first leg of the round of 16.
Athletico overcame América de Cali away from home at the Estadio Hernan Ramirez Villegas in Pereira, Colombia, with Niko, an attacking midfielder, scoring the game-winning goal from the penalty spot in the 73rd minute. The win gives the Hurricane the luxury of a draw in the return leg at Baixada next Tuesday. If the aggregate score is 1-1, penalties will be applied, and the team will be ousted from the competition if there are any more mishaps.
Grêmio, on the other hand, beat LDU away from home, at Casablanca Stadium in Quito, after going nine games without winning.
Even though the team had to suffer throughout the game for a hard-fought win, Léo Pereira scored the game’s only goal, giving his side the advantage going into the second leg.
Athletico improved their performance in the second half of the game, shutting down the Colombians and allowing only one shot on target in the entire game while taking three of their own. Despite having better possession of the ball, América de Cali was unable to penetrate the opponent’s defence.
LDU on the other hand, were unlucky not to win because they had complete control of the game but were unable to get the ball past the goalkeeper and into the net. Grêmio only managed three shots in the entire game, one of which was the game’s only goal, despite having only 24 percent ball control.
Athletico will face Ceará in the Brazilian Championship’s 12th round on Saturday at Arena Castelao, before returning for the second leg of the Sudamericana Cup on Tuesday. Santos and Abner will be with the Olympic team.
Grêmio will seek to keep the momentum going on Saturday when they meet Fluminense at Maracana in the Brazilian Championship, ahead of the second leg of the Sudamericana next Tuesday.