Richard Heathcote

Copa Libertadores 2013, Matchday 1: Toluca steal a win in Argentina

Boca Juniors are in a hole early in their Copa Libertadores campaign. Their defense fell apart in a loss to Toluca. Elsewhere, Ronaldinho was dominant in Atletico Mineiro's win over Sao Paulo as none of Wednesday's other matches provided surprises.

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Copa Libertadores Wednesday recap

While there were no goals quite as good as Tuesday's strike by Damian Diaz during Wednesday's slate of Copa Libertadores games, most of the games were of a much higher quality. The two biggest games of the round, Atletico Mineiro - Sao Paulo and Boca Juniors - Toluca, were fantastic from beginning to end. Elsewhere, favorites Peñarol and Fluminense were challenged in tough road tests, but ultimately rose to the occasion.

Atletico Mineiro 2-1 Sao Paulo

Click above for a full report on this game, which featured Ronaldinho balling the f out.

Boca Juniors 1-2 Toluca

Juan Roman Riquelme isn't fit yet, and didn't play in this game. Boca are sad without him. Sinha had two stellar assists. Click above for a full report.

Municipal Iquique 1-2 Peñarol

While this certainly wasn't a death blow for Municipal Iquique, they'll be very disappointed to have dropped points from a drawing position at home. Peñarol showed exactly why they're one of the top dark horse contenders for the Libertadores in this match, scoring the winner on a spectacular fast counter in the 71st minute. They regained possession at the half-way line on the right flank, then quickly turned defense into attack with a quick ball forward to Fabian Estoyanoff, who squared for Juan Manuel Olivera to tap in. In a matter of less than five seconds, the Uruguayans turned defense into attack, covered half the pitch, and found the back of the net.

Caracas FC 0-1 Fluminense

Venezuelan side Caracas FC are in a similar boat to Iquique. This doesn't shatter their hopes of going through, and their loss to one of the tournament favorites isn't a horrible result, but it'll sting a bit. The lone goal of the match came from red-hot striker Fred, who scored a great curling effort in the 32nd minute. On current form, he looks like the man who should be starting up top for the Brazilian national side.

Real Garcilaso 1-1 Independiente Santa Fe

Welcome to the competition, Real Garcilaso! They came back from an early deficit to earn a bit of a surprise point. No one expected them to do much in this year's Libertadores, but defender Rolando Bogado saved a point for them in their first ever Libertadores match, heading in a corner kick in the 75th minute.


Ronaldinho stars 2-1 Atletico win over Sao Paulo

Ronaldinho was the talisman for Atletico Mineiro, who downed Sao Paulo 2-1 in front of a wild crowd to open their Copa Libertadores campaign.


Sinha is an ageless wonder

Boca Juniors have a lot of work to do defensively. A couple of days after they let in two goals domestically, they let in two more in a loss to Toluca in Copa Libertadores.


Copa Libertadores Tuesday recap

I've been looking for an opportunity to use a "Radio Ga Ga"/Fernando Gago headline for about six years. Please don't hate me. The Argentine international made his debut for Velez Sarsfield on Tuesday, but unfortunately for them, his team didn't play their best football on the night. Emelec kicked and scrapped their way to an important win, picking up 20 fouls and six yellow cards in the process. In other action, La U got their Copa Libertadores campaign off to an excellent start, while Barcelona and Nacional played a thriller in Montevideo.

Nacional 2-2 Barcelona

Click above for a full match report on this game. And here's a video of the spectacular strike by Damian Diaz.

Emelec 1-0 Velez

While 2012 was slightly disappointing for Emelec, they did enough to get into the Libertadores, and they'll be thrilled with their win over Group 4 favorites Velez. Their lone goal was an own goal, scored by Velez striker Facundo Ferreyra on a 49th minute free kick. The ball took an unfortunate deflection off his foot, and there was nothing Sebastian Sosa could do.

In the 62nd minute, Fernando Tobio was sent off for taking down Marlon Pavon on the edge of the penalty area, denying him a clear goal-scoring opportunity. Down a man, Velez were unable to push for an equalizer.

Universidad de Chile 2-0 Deportivo Lara

Though La U have gotten off to a rough start under Dario Franco, their comfortable win over a CD Lara side that lacks experience at this level was not surprising. Sebastian Ubilla, who is on the fringes of the Chilean national team, scored both of his side's goals.


Damian Diaz starts off Copa Lib with stunning goal

Damian Diaz got Copa Libertadores off to as good of a start as one could imagine.


Nacional snatch comeback draw from Barcelona

Copa Libertadores' opening match was an excellent advertisement for the tournament. Barcelona dominated the first half, but fell apart late and gave away a dramatic equalizer to Nacional.


Ronny and Roman in Copa Lib? Party like it's 2002.

The group stage of Copa Libertadores gets underway on Tuesday with a couple of great matches. That slate is topped by Wednesday's, where the top teams in Groups 1 and 3 do battle.

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