Libertadores final first leg: LDU 4-2 Fluminense

June 26, 2008 at 02:55 4 comments

We stood still

Brazil’s Fluminense have their work cut out after losing the first leg of the Copa Libertadores 4-2 to Ecuador’s Liga Deportiva Universitaria (LDU) in the Estádio Casa Blanca in Quito on Wednesday.

One goal down after less than two minutes, the Rio side finished the first-half trailing 4-1. But Thiago Neve’s goal in the second period has given Flu a fighting chance in the return leg next week.

Despite the pre-match bravado, Coach Renato Gaúcho knew his team would be up against it in Quito.

Flu are currently bottom of the Campeonato Brasileiro and have taken just 2 points from 7 games. The last time they won a match was when they beat Boca Juniors in the semis of the Libertadores.

LDU came out fighting and got off to a dream start when after 90 seconds; Bieler reacted quicker than Thiago Silva and latched onto a ball from Guerrón to send the home side in front.

Washington should have equalised 3 minutes later but hit his close-range shot straight at the keeper, Cevallos.

But Flu didn’t have that long to wait before they were level. A Thiago Neves’ dive won Flu a free-kick. Dário Conca hit a real belter, which flew in past Cevallos. 

Flu immediately sat back but their defence still looked fragile and continued to allow more opportunities for LDU.

The Brazilian’s, though, did have the odd chance – Arouca hit a long-range effort that went just wide.

But with 28 minutes on the clock, LDU were back in front. Flu keeper Fernando Henrique made a good stop from Bieler but Guerrón was well-placed to hammer in the rebound

Five minutes later, the homeside then went 3-1 up when Jairo Campos headed home from a corner.

LDU continued to push forward for more goals with Manso in particular looking very threatening.

Then in stoppage time, Flu failed to deal with another corner and Patrício Urrutia made it 4×1.

Fluminense went in at halftime looking shell-shocked.

But Flu were handed a real lifeline when six minutes after the restart, Thiago Neves pulled one back when he got on to the end of a Gabriel cross.

Flu began to grow from this point and Dário Conca again tested Cevallos.

But chances began to dwindle as it became apparent that both teams were prepared to settle for the result.

There was however, one more excellent opportunity for LDU. Just before full-time, Fernando Henrique kept Flu in the tie when he pulled off a great save to deny Urrutia.

Directly after the tie, a confident Thiago Neves declared that though Flu had been rubbish, his goal would guarantee them the title next week. But other Flu players were not quite so upbeat. Defender Luiz Alberto said that the result was bad and everybody knew it.

Unfortunately, for Flu, away goals do not count double in the finals. So, a 2×0 win for the Renato Gaúcho’s men in the estádio Maracanã will send the tie into extra time and if necessary, penalties. 

Flu, though, will have a capacity crowd behind them in Rio.

But LDU must fancy their chances of scoring against a side that hasn’t kept a clean sheet for 11 games.

One interesting thing to note was that despite the fact that the match was the final of South America’s most prestigious club competition, Brazil’s major broadcaster, TV Globo, decided not to air the game in the country’s largest city, São Paulo. Instead, the station put out the Série B confrontation between locals Corinthians and Bragantino. Flu and LDU fans in São Paulo had to watch the match on the cable channel, Sportv.

See the best moments here


Venue: Estádio Casa Blanca, Quito, Ecuador
Date: 25 June 2008
Referee: Carlos Chandía (Chile)
Assistants: Cristian Julio & Lorenzo Acuña (Chile)
Yellows: Vera, Bieler, Araújo (LDU), Luiz Alberto, Ygor (Fluminense)

Goals: LDU: Bieler 1 min, Guerrón 28, Campos 32, Urrutia 45
FLUMINENSE: Conca 11, Thiago Neves 51

LDU: José Francisco Cevallos, Renán Calle, Norberto Araújo, Jairo Campos, Joffre Guerrón, Enrique Vera, Patrício Urrutia, Paul Ambrossi, Luis Bolaños; Damián Manso (William Araújo), Claudio Bieler (Delgado).
Coach: Edgardo Bauza

FLUMINENSE: Fernando Henrique, Gabriel, Thiago Silva, Luiz Alberto, Júnior César, Ygor, Arouca(Maurício), Darío Conca, Thiago Neves (Roger), Cícero, Washington
Coach: Renato Gaúcho



Entry filed under: Libertadores 2008. Tags: , , , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. frost  |  June 26, 2008 at 12:07

    Fine analysis, BUT, no mention of the 9,000+ foot altitude in Quito? Or wasn’t fatigue a factor?

  • 2. pitacodogringo  |  June 26, 2008 at 12:43

    Playing at altitude is always a problem (and a good excuse) but Flu shouldn’t have been that tired after 90 seconds when they conceded their first goal! And anyway, Flu managed to draw 0x0 there in the group stage earlier this season so they should have known what to expect.

  • 3. Cosmin  |  June 29, 2008 at 07:55

    It is interesting that Flu have played with the reserves all the matches in Brazileiro in order to preparefor this game – and they lost it 4-2!!! How is that?

  • 4. pitacodogringo  |  June 29, 2008 at 20:52

    actually, they fielded a full-strength team on at least two occasions and still failed to win!


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Jon Cotterill. Commentator/expert/eyes on South American football. São Paulo/Buenos Aires. Trying to shout more.

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