Diego Cocca is quickly discovering how much work is to be done with Rosario Central as El Canalla slumped to a 2-0 defeat against Aldosivi in the Gigante de Arroyito.
A dreadful league campaign that leaves Central in the thick of the relegation battle last season, a dreadful Copa Libertadores that looks to already be over and now a damaging first leg defeat in the Copa.
Aldosivi were the better side in Rosario and only the interventions of goalkeeper Jeremías Ledesma kept the visitors out during the opening exchanges. However, after a string of saves had kept Aldosivi out, the deadlock was finally broken thanks in part to Ledesma – Javier Iritier’s powerful volley coming back off the post and hitting Ledesma’s back to ricochet into the net.
Having not risked players for last week’s Libertadores defeat to Grêmio, Cocca was at somewhere close to full strength but couldn’t prevent Aldosivi substitute Ezequiel Videla slamming in a second eight minutes from time.
The pair meet again in Mar del Plata on Saturday but Aldosivi are now firm favourites to set up a last 16 encounter with River Plate.
Rosario Central 0 – 2 Aldosivi
Earlier in Paraná, Godoy Cruz picked up a useful draw against Patronato and will have confidence of finishing the job back in Mendoza.
After a goalless first half, a blistering long range half-volley by San Lorenzo loanee Germán Berterame gave Patronato a deserved lead but the home side were unable to hold on.
Club legend Sebastián Bértoli announced his retirement after helping Patronato stay in the Superliga a little over a week ago and his replacement Federico Costa was at fault for Godoy Cruz’s equaliser, flapping at a set-piece to allow Tomás Cardona to head into an empty net.
Patronato remained the far more dangerous side but unable to find a second will head to Mendoza on Saturday knowing that a positive result is required.