Velez Sarsfield is well in control of their Copa Libertadores Round of 16 tie after pulling off a road win in Colombia on Tuesday. One day after they fired manager Santiago Escobar, Atletico Nacional did not look like a team with a plan, and Velez came away from the first leg with a 1-0 victory.
Ivan Bella scored the game's only goal in the 9th minute, and it was an absolute beauty. Collecting a pass from Juan Manuel Martinez on the edge of the penalty area to the left of Gaston Pezzuti, Bella turned and curled a fantastic shot around Pezzuti's hand, sneaking his shot into the back of the net at the far post.
Velez were gifted a chance to put the tie away completely in the 54th minute when Alejandro Bernal hauled down Martinez in the box, giving away a penalty. Martinez stepped up to the spot, but didn't place his shot well and Pezzuti made a save to keep the deficit to one goal.
Atletico Nacional got forward regularly after that, but couldn't truly test Marcelo Barovero. Their star Dorlan Pabon, the competition's leading scorer, regularly settled for long-range shots and their crosses into the box looked aimless. The good news for them is that Velez has been worse at home than they have been on the road this season, so this tie is not over, but they'll struggle to get back into it next week.