Kaio Jorge seals crucial win for Santos in the Libertadores
Santos won the first leg of the quarter finals in the Libertadores against Independiente thanks to a 69th-minute strike from Kaio Jorge. The Peixe clearly dominated the first half, but found it difficult to overcome Independiente late on Thursday in Vila Belmiro.
Peixe could have scored more after dominating for much of the game, but was denied by goalkeeper Sosa’s brilliance. Independiente, on the other hand, had a goal disallowed for offside, and had it not been for Joao Paulo’s save of Silvio Romero’s free-kick in injury time, the saints would have been forced to settle for a draw.
Santos had a strong first-half performance, with more ball possession and seven shots, three of which were on target.
Despite their dominance, the hosts lacked attacking zeal with Marinho and Marcos Guilherme. Kaio Jorge returned to the attack after missing three games and helped the attack in a new dimension. The forward got a chance a few minutes into the half, but the goalkeeper was up to the task.
Marcos Guilherme had a chance to score first as well, but Sosa was up to the task. Independiente bet on counterattacks and long balls for top scorer Silvio Romero, but he only got one opportunity in the first half.
Santos’ dominance grew in the second half, as they crushed Independiente and created a flurry of scoring opportunities. After a magnificent shot, Gabriel Pirani had an opportunity but couldn’t convert. Kaiky came close with a header and Pirani tried again, but his effort was deflected off. Marinho even attempted a bicycle kick that went over the bar.
The dominance finally paid off as they took the 1-0 lead in the 69th minute when Kaio Jorge took advantage of the rebound, after Sosa saved Marcos Guilherme shot. After the goal, Peixe then relaxed, allowing Independiente to make their own attempts, which they squandered as well. In the end, the Brazilian side claimed a crucial win.
Before travelling to Argentina, Santos will play Red Bull Bragantino in the 12th round of the Brazilian Championship on Sunday, at Bragança Paulista.