Given the always terrific atmosphere inside the Estadio Monumental José Fierro, Atlético Tucumán would have been targeting as many points as possible at home in order to progress in this year’s Copa Libertadores but El Decano’s hopes were dealt an early blow by defeat to Libertad in their opening game.
Without their inspirational captain Luis Rodriguez through injury, Atlético were far from their best and the sub-par performance was punished by an impressive Libertad side.
Goalkeeper Augusto Batalla had been called into action during the first half, first to cut out a swift counter and again to deny Danilo Satacruz after a darting run.
With no improvement after the break from the home side the deadlock was broken just after the hour mark when Santiago Salcedo flicked in a low cross from the right.
Atlético needed a goal but in the 78th minute another cross from the right caused problems and Rodrigo Alborno volleyed in at the back post to double Libertad’s advantage.
With two difficult away trips to Peñarol and The Strongest up next for Atlético Tucumán, Group C is already looking very difficult.