After suffering a 5-0 defeat at home to end any hopes of challenging for the league title over the weekend, San Lorenzo needed a response against Atlético Mineiro in the Copa Sudamericana on Wednesday. While it may not have been the performance to right the wrongs of the Godoy Cruz defeat, Los Cuervos picked up a valuable first leg victory.
The Brazilians started brightly perhaps hoping to take advantage of San Lorenzo’s potentially fragile state of mind after such a loss and an early stray pass by Juan Mercier almost opened up a chance for former Banfield forward Juan Cazares.
San Lorenzo settled and reduced the visitors to a string of hopeful long range efforts that never really threatened Nicolás Navarro’s goal and before the break managed to force a breakthrough.
Atlético Mineiro will rightly feel aggrieved at the goal as replays showed Gabriel Gudiño a yard offside when Alexis Castro shot, allowing the forward to tap in the rebound following Victor’s initial save.
But the goal stood and with Rómulo Otero wasting the clearest chance for the visitors and Nicolas Blandi missing two decent opportunities for San Lorenzo, it proved decisive.
Neither side created much and perhaps a draw would have been a fair result but thanks to that Gudiño goal, San Lorenzo head to Belo Horizonte in a month protecting a one-goal lead.