Unión put their Superliga struggles behind them on Thursday evening to sweep past a disappointing Atlético Mineiro and secure a 3-0 first leg victory in the Copa Sudamericana.
Averaging less than a goal per game in the league this term and sitting down in 17th expectations weren’t particularly high for Unión but an already rocking Estadio 15 de Abril was given an early shot in the arm when Walter Bou spun his marker and drilled in an opener after four minutes.
Both goalkeepers made good stops in the early exchanges but it was the home side that doubled their lead before the break, Javier Cabrera’s fierce finish on the counter almost blasting a hole in the net.
Atlético’s defensive fragility was exposed again just after half time when a simple ball over the top was expertly brought under control by Gabriel Carabajal and finished past Michael.
The three-goal cushion giving Unión a commanding lead ahead of the second leg, Atlético had a glorious chance to snatch a vital away goal but Sebastián Moyano kept out Allan’s 90th minute penalty and to compound the Brazilian’s misery, the midfielder was sent off in stoppage time.
The two sides meet again on February 20th in Belo Horizonte but only a dramatic comeback will now deny Unión a spot in the Sudamericana second round.
— CONMEBOL Sudamericana (@Sudamericana) February 7, 2020