Santos won this Wednesday by 1-0 to Unión La Calera with a goal from Lucas Barbosa in the minutes of replacement, in a match that was marked by the terrible arbitration of the Venezuelan Jesus Valenzuela. With this, the ‘Peixe’ assumed the first place of Group C of the Copa Sudamericana and now only depends on a victory in their last match to qualify for the knockout stages.
Despite giving five minutes of length, Barbosa, in the 101st minute of the game (eleven of the replenishment), lowered with his chest an assist from Sandry; he opened the scoring and resolved for Santos a game that he dominated, in which he wasted several scoring opportunities and that seemed doomed to end up tied.
The victory allowed the Brazilian team to reach 10 points, two units more than the Chilean (8), the only one that can snatch the classification on the last day, since the Ecuadorian Catholic University (5) and the Argentine Banfield (4) are eliminated.
The only qualifier of the group to eighth will be defined next Tuesday, when Santos receives Banfield and La Calera to Universidad Católica. A win guarantees the Brazilians a place regardless of the other result.
Urged to victory, Santos began pressing from the initial whistle and only needed a minute to generate a dangerous play, but Ricardo Goulart, who replaced the striker Angelo due to injury, kicked over the crossbar and wasted a meter from the goal and without a goalkeeper a goal that the grandstand was already singing.
Despite Unión La Calera raising the mark and pressing in the center of the court, Santos continued to dominate the game and generate dangerous plays, but failed in the completions. Goulart took turns in the offensive plays with Rwan Seco, much applauded by the fans, especially after a brilliant play in which he eluded Oyanedel and forced Sanhueza to knock him down to prevent him from entering the area.
The Chilean team, which played to defend, lined up five men in the back and four in the center of the field and opted for counterpunches, had its first clear opportunity in the 20th minute, when Castellani finished with his head a corner kick and narrowly opened the scoring.
In the 30th minute Goulart squandered another clear chance after receiving an assist from Rwan Seco and finishing first, but his ball was deflected on the line by defender Pedro Henrique. Two minutes later, in a counter-attack, Alarcón sent a ball into the box that Sáez converted into a goal with his head, but the score was annulled by an offside in a very controversial decision.
In the last minutes of the first half, the Chilean club was the one that went on to dominate the game and came dangerously close with an unstoppable Sáez and with Vidangossy, but also failed to concrete. The new coach of Unión La Calera, the Argentine Federico Vilar, who debuted on Saturday with a defeat for the Chilean league, decided to renew his attack in the second half and sent Tomás Rodríguez to the court in the place of Vidangossy.
But Santos came back more determined and in just five minutes had six options, including a header with which Goulart smashed the ball over Arce’s crossbar. The lack of aim of the Santos attackers led the coach of the Brazilian team, the also Argentine Fabian Bustos, to call the striker Leo Baptistao to replace Goulart.
As Baptistao also failed to open the bolt of the goal defended by Arce, Bustos also sent to the court the Ecuadorian striker Bryan Angulo and the midfielder Lucas Barbosa, but the Chilean team managed to neutralize the insistent attacks of the locals.
In the final minutes Rwan Seco wasted a goal after a mistaken start by Arce; Lucas Barbosa also smashed a ball over the crossbar – the fourth of the game – and Baptistao wasted a header. The intense dispute generated tension in both teams and the violence forced the center back to expel Baptistao del Santos and Simón Rodríguez de La Calera at the last minute.
And in the minutes of replenishment, when all seemed lost for Santos, Barbosa got the saving score. The goal generated new fights on the court, the expulsion of the reserve goalkeeper of Santos after an invasion and intense protests from the Chileans, who did not settle for the concession of 15 minutes of replacement.
Watch the match summary here
Video via Twitter CONMEBOL Sudamericana
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