Godoy Cruz de Mendoza and Peñarol played an even and scoreless first half in their Copa Libertadores openers, but the Argentinians were able to find one goal in the second half to start their campaign with a 1-0 win. Even at home, the clean sheet is a big benchmark for Godoy Cruz, who conceded 10 goals in group stage play last season as they failed to make the knockout stages.
These two teams were drawn together in the group stages last year as well, with Peñarol winning on both occasions en route to the Copa Libertadores final. The eventual runners-up were responsible for five of the 10 goals that Godoy Cruz conceded.
Their winner came in the 52nd minute, set up by Ariel Rojas with a terrific run and cross. Diego Villar, one of the best wide players in Argentina, made a great run into the box to get onto the end of the cross and hit a first-time volley into the back of the net.
In a very rare occurrence, that goal would be all they needed. Peñarol's Alejandro González picked up a second yellow card and was sent off just six minutes later. With only 10 men on the road, they were unable to find an equalizer and Godoy Cruz held on for three points.