The two Rosario giants made less than auspicious starts to the Copa Sudamericana on Thursday night with Newell’s Old Boys losing 3-0 away to Atlético Paranaense and Rosario Central being held by São Paulo in the Gigante de Arroyito.
While Central will head to Brazil next month still hoping to progress in this year’s Copa Sudamericana, Newell’s have been left with a mountain to climb after a woeful display in Curitiba.
Second best from kick off, Newell’s were behind after only nine minutes when goalkeeper Luciano Pocrnjic was caught wondering whether to come and claim an Atlético Paranaense corner, in the process leaving Pablo to head into an empty net.
The home side continued to push forward and deservedly doubled the lead after half an hour, Nikão firing in the from the edge of the box. And it got worse for La Lepra as Guilherme swiftly smashed in a third before half time.
The only positive for Newell’s was that Atlético failed to add to the scoreline after the break but it will take a miracle for Omar de Felippe’s side to turn the tie around back at the Estadio Marcelo Bielsa on May 10th.
Atlético Paranaense 3 – 0 Newell’s Old Boys
A little later in Rosario, Central were unable to make the most of home advantage despite São Paulo being down to ten men for the majority of the game.
A game of few chances, El Canalla would have hoped that Rodrigo Caio’s first half sending off would have opened up the visitors a little more but despite referee Víctor Carrillo helping out with that harsh judgment on the Brazilian midfielder, it was São Paulo who came closest to winning it.
Marco Ruben had a goal disallowed but Fernando Zampedri did appear to impede goalkeeper Sidão to create it and so Nenê’s shot that struck the underside of the bar was the closest either side coming to finding a breakthrough.
Federico Carrizo was sent off for Central late on when he was shown a second yellow but Leonardo Fernández’s side have plenty to do next month in the Estádio do Morumbi.