Following Estudiantes’ aggregate loss to LDU Quito on Tuesday night, Lanús took on Atlas in the Estadio Jalisco and also exited the tournament. Having lost 1-0 last week in Buenos Aires, Ramón Cabrero’s side needed to win at least 2-1 to advance, and failed in agonising fashion – Lautaro Acosta got a 90th minute goal but it was an equaliser, not a winner, and the 2-2 draw takes the Mexicans through 3-2 on aggregate.
In the opening stages Lanús showed little or no evidence that they had a huge drive to break down Atlas and claim the win on away territory that they needed. The ideas, though, were clear: taking their time on the ball, they made some good advances in possession and Jose Sand could have made it 1-0 but missed a good chance. As the first half wore on, Lanús’s lukewarm approach grew to the point where it was clear the situation was becoming almost insurmountable for them. And then, on the half hour, Bruno Marioni scored to put Atlas one up on the night, two up on aggregate, rounding Lanús ‘keeper Carlos Bossio to make the Granate task even tougher.
In the second half Lanús had the look of a side barely able to fight an uphill battle. Sand equalised in the 64th minute, but with twelve minutes to go Ulises Mendivil put Atlas back in the lead, and the final outcome was no longer in any doubt whatsoever. Acosta’s equaliser, when it came, was merely the final shout of a side who have gambled on going far in this year’s tournament, to the detriment of their league campaign, and are now left with nothing but pride to play for in the Clausura.
For the goal videos of this and Estudiantes’ match last night, check back later on Wednesday.