Santos secure their spot in the group stage of the Libertadores

Santos blew a two-goal lead against San Lorenzo but advanced to the group stage of the Libertadores regardless.

In what was an overly exciting game to watch, Santos progressed to the group stage of the Copa Libertadores after a 2-2 result against San Lorenzo on Tuesday in Brasilia. Pexie came into this game with much cushion, having recorded a comfortable 3-1 away win in the reverse fixture. However, the latest encounter was far from straightforward.

Santos raced to a two-goal lead before the hour-mark and it seemed like the game was effectively done.

Leonardo put the hosts ahead in the 22nd minute of first half before Para doubled their lead three minutes before the half-hour mark. At the time, San Lorenzo had already been reduced to ten men after Rojas got a straight red card for a needless tackle.

Regardless, the visitors showed some spirit to record a comeback, with Di Santo and Romero scoring in the space of 20 minutes to make for a tense finish. Despite blowing their two-goal lead, Santos were never really in danger of not advancing but it served as some sort of warning to take note of ahead of the new season.

Santos will now make their debut in the Libertadores next Tuesday, where they will take on against Barcelona de Guayaquil. The Strongest and Boca Juniors are the teams that complete Group C.

Before their Libertadores clash, Santos will first of all switch their attention to the Paulistão where they have two games to play. On Friday, they take on Ponte Preta in a game valid for the fifth round of the competition. Two days later, they welcome Inter de Limeira to Vila Belmiro for the sixth round.

San Lorenzo have the South American Cup as their “consolation prize”. They will join Group A, alongside, Huachipato, Rosario Central and 12 de Octubre.

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