Youngsters shine as Santos claim first leg Libertadores win over Deportivo Lara
Santos’ young guns did enough to secure a 2-1 victory over Deportivo Lara on Tuesday in Vila Belmiro. The game marked for Santos’ debut in the Libertadores da América 2021.
Both goals were scored by two of the club’s most promising youngsters in Vinicius Balieiro and Kaiky.
The result gives the Brazilian outfit an advantage in the fight for a place in the third phase of the continental competition. A draw next week in Venezuela is enough will be more than enough to see Ariel Holan’s team go through.
Santos took to the pitch with a rather young side, filled with teenagers. The most notable of them were defender Kaiky (17 years old) and strikers Ângelo (16) and Marcos Leonardo (17). They were joined by names like Vinicius Balieiro (21) and Sandry (18). Fortunately, all of the aforementioned names impressed on the evening. Ângelo was the standout name especially in the first half.
Santos currently hold the lead going into the return leg but cannot afford to be complacent. For instance, a 1-0 loss to Deportivo in the return leg will see Santos knocked out. To qualify through, they must simply win or draw by any score. If they will lose at all, it has to be by a close score-line where they scored at least two goals. A 2-1 win for Deportivo Lara will see the game go to penalties.
The return leg against Deportivo Lara will take place next Tuesday in Caracas, the capital of Venezuela.
Should they advance, Santos will take on the winner between San Lorenzo and Universidad de Chile in the next round of the competition.
Before that though, Santos have a game against Ituano scheduled for Saturday, valid for the Paulistão. However, there is a possibility the state championship could be brought to a halt given the recent turn of events.