The Estadio Mario Alberto Kempes played host to three-time Copa Libertadores champions São Paulo on Wednesday evening and while Talleres were participating in the Copa Libertadores for only the second time, Juan Pablo Vojvoda’s side claimed a memorable first leg victory.
There is still work to do next week in Morumbi to set up a third round tie against either Palestino or Independiente Medellín before even reaching the group stages but Talleres have put themselves in a terrific position against one of the strongest sides in qualifying.
An edgy first half actually saw the Brazilians look more likely to open the scoring with Bruno Alves miscueing a close range volley and Hudson forcing Guido Herrera into a smart save.
Unable to find many spaces during the opening 45 minutes, Talleres had more success after the break and Sebastían Palacios’ pace began to stretch São Paulo. With the game in the balance, the breakthrough came just before the hour mark when Juan Ramírez controlled the ball on his chest and from the edge of the box fired into the top corner.
A truly wonderful strike sent the Kempes wild and when Pablo glanced a volley off the outside of the post, many supporters would likely have accepted the 1-0 goal win. However, it got better for La T. Hudson picked up a second yellow card for bringing down Palacios and with the man advantage, Tomás Pochettino doubled the lead. The 23-year-old played a one-two with Junior Arias and drilled a low shot past Tiago Volpi.
The two sides meet again next week and it is the Brazilians with it all to do. Talleres, comfortable to play on the counter, will be looking for that crucial away goal.
Talleres 2 – 0 São Paulo
— CONMEBOL Libertadores (@Libertadores) February 7, 2019
It wasn’t such a good evening for Defensa y Justicia in the Copa Sudamericana as Sebastián Beccacece’s side suffered an agonising last minute defeat to Botafogo.
Conditions in Rio de Janeiro were appalling as torrential rain soaked the pitch and while unbeaten Defensa y Justicia have been scoring their own fair share of late winners in the Argentinean Superliga, they were on the opposite end in Brazil.
Seconds remained when substitute Erik’s fierce shot from outside the box flew past Ezequiel Unsain into the top corner.
El Halcón will host Botafogo in two weeks back in Florencio Varela and will remain confident in their ability to progress but know that there will be little room for error.
Botafogo 1 – 0 Defensa y Justicia
— CONMEBOL Sudamericana (@Sudamericana) February 7, 2019