Velez Sarsfield did not bring their A game in the first 35 minutes of their Copa Libertadores match against Caracas, but they turned it on at the end and coasted to a 3-0 win, thanks to a couple of ridiculous golazos, a penalty kick, and a red card.
New Velez signing Guillerme Franco, a Mexican international who spent last season at West Ham, was injured in the opening minutes and had to be subbed off in the 6th minute of play, a bad blow for the hosts. They would get some help five minutes later though, as Angelo Peña was shown a straight red card for a bad challenge.
It took a while for Velez to get going, but once they did, they were the much better side. David Ramirez had the first great opportunities of the night, but somehow manage to squander them both as part of two of the unluckiest misses you'll ever see. Making a great run from midfield, Martinez had a powerful header saved, then hit the post on the rebound. On almost any other day, he would have scored either chance.
Velez finally opened the scoring just before halftime when Maxi Moralez, arguably Velez's best player, hit an absolute screamer into the back of the net from 25 yards following a corner kick. It was a tough blow to Caracas, who had done well with ten men to that point.
Ramirez would redeem himself for his misses in the second half, scoring one goal and setting up another. The goal that he scored was an absolute stunner from about 20 yards, and he drew a stone cold penalty just minutes later, which was converted by Juan Manuel Martinez, taking the score to 3-0 in favor of Velez.
The Argentinians will be favorites to take this relatively soft group, though Universidad Catolica of Chile could potentially give them problems.
Elsewhere, in Group 7 action, Deportes Tolima, the team that knocked Corinthians out of the competition, notched a 1-0 win over Brazilian side Guarani.