Santos bow out of the Libertadores
In a turn of events that would come as highly disappointing, current runners-up Santos were knocked out of the 2021 Libertadores group stage. Pexie suffered a woeful 3-1 defeat to Ecuadorian outfit Barcelona de Guayaquil and the result is an early exit from the continental competition.
It was more or less a sad scenario as even a win would have seen them bow out of the competition regardless, following Boca Juniors’ win over The Strongest in the other fixture.
In Ecuador, Damián Díaz gave the hosts the lead before Kaio Jorge leveled on the stroke of half time. Just nine minutes into the second half, Díaz grabbed his second of the game against the run of play to put the hosts in the lead. In their bid to search for yet another equalizer, Santos committed too many bodies forward and that was their undoing as it cost them even more. With less than 15 minutes to go, substitute Montano came off the bench to put the game beyond doubt for the hosts. The forward had only been on the pitch before he scored.
This is only the second time Santos have bowed out of the competition so early, with the other time coming in 1984.
With six points from six game, Pexie bow out of the competition in third place in Group C. However, that finish means they will move into the Copa Sudamericana round of 16. Barcelona finished in first place with 13 points, while Boca Juniors were second with 10 points. The Strongest finished bottom of the table also with six points, but with a lesser goal difference to Santos.
Away from the continent, Santos will now turn their focus to the domestic scene, when they begin their Brazilian Championship campaign with a fixture against Bahia. Following that game, they will then take on Cianorte in the third round of the Copa do Brasil.