Copa Sudamericana: Independiente take commanding lead over Binacional (VIDEO)

When seven-time Copa Libertadores champions Independiente were winning their first Copa Sudamericana in 2010, Peruvian club Binacional were only just being founded and while their first round meeting in this year’s tournament provided one of the more intriguing narratives, the gulf in class was telling in Avellaneda.

Ariel Holan’s side have struggled domestically of late and made a point of stressing the importance of this year’s Copa Sudamericana and so there was no early signs of taking their opponents lightly. Wave after wave of attacks from the opening minute crashed against the Binacional penalty area as the opening 45 minutes was played almost exclusively in one half.

Silvio Romero had clattered the crossbar and Martín Benítez looped a volley against the same spot of the frame as El Rojo probed for an opener. And after coming so close, the goal eventually came in the scrappiest of circumstance. A corner swung in from the left wasn’t dealt with and as it bobbled in the six-yard box, Emanuel Brítez reacted quickest to stab in.

Only one would have been a positive outcome for a Binacional side so thoroughly outclassed during the first half but Silvio Romero was able to add a second before the whistle with the help of hapless defender Angel Pérez. Martín Benítez slipped in the under-pressure striker and hesitating over his finish, goalkeeper Michael Sotillo looked to have done enough only for Pérez to clumsily help the ball over the line in his attempts to clear.

The second was no less than Independiente deserved and immediately after the break it was three. While the first two had owed much to Binacional’s defending, the third was all about the quality of Juan Sánchez Miño, exchanging passes with Cecilio Domínguez before hammering a shot past Sotillo past 25 yards.

When Pérez gave away a penalty allowing Romero to chip a panenka in for number four with 25 minutes remaining, the question was how many could Independiente score.

However, taking their foot off the gas and a lapse of concentration defensively saw substitute Jefferson Collazos tap in Binacional’s first ever goal in CONMEBOL competition.

Independiente failed to add any further goals but will head to Peru next month with a commanding lead and with a foot already in the next round of the Sudamericana.

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