There hasn’t been a great deal to cheer in recent years for supporters of Independiente but on Wednesday the Estadio Libertadores de América was in fine voice as El Rojo dumped Lanús out of the Copa Sudamericana.
Having won the first leg in La Fortaleza with a wonderful example of counter attacking football, Gabi Milito’s side were already with a foot in the last 16 but the threat of Transición champions Lanús was clear and El Granate arrived in Avellaneda desperate to overturn the deficit.
Despite the visitors intentions the match was a scrappy affair with so many fouls that it lacked any flow and while it was Lanús that dominated possession, it was Independiente that struck on the counter shortly before half time.
Emiliano Rigoni dashed down the left and although Diego Braghieir headed his cross away it fell to Martín Benítez on the edge of the penalty area and the 22-year-old rifled the ball low past Fernando Monetti.
Lanús required three unanswered goals in the second half and when Miguel Almirón scuffed a glorious chance it was clear that it wasn’t to be their night.
Gustavo Toledo’s sending off with over fifteen minutes remaining provided a brief glimmer of hope but El Granate still didn’t look too much like scoring and so Independiente held on for an outstanding win over one of the tournament’s strongest sides.
Independiente 1 – 0 Lanús (AGG 3-0)