Cuenca 1 – 0 Estudiantes

Roberto Sensini sent out an attack-minded lineup to face Deportivo Cuenca in Estudiantes’ opening Group 2 match of the Copa Libertadores on Tuesday night, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Argentina’s clubs from suffering two defeats on the opening night. At altitude, Estudiantes couldn’t hack it against their Ecuadorian opponents.

Well, that’s a bit harsh. The visitors hit the woodwork on more than one ocassion, but a side featuring Juan Sebastián Verón, Ezequiel Maggiolo and Pablo Piatti couldn’t, somehow, find a way through, in spite of themselves. Verón was inspired and Leandro Desábato and Maggiolo both hit the frame of the goal, Desábato with a first-half header and Maggiolo with a second-half shot, but they couldn’t get any closer.

Mauricio Ferradas, scoring on the stroke of half-time for the hosts, was the match-winner, and although Cuenca feature a number of Argentines in their ranks, we’re left to reflect tonight on the fact that the two champions of the 2006-2007 season, who qualified for this competition by virtue of those victories, have both lost away from home in their opening group games. Like San Lorenzo, Sensini’s men have plenty of time to turn things around, and will at least console themselves with having already got their high-altitude away trip out of the way, but they’ll have to be on the ball for their next game…

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