San Lorenzo 1 – 1 LDU Quito

D\'Alessandro gets hold of the ball, for once

San Lorenzo wanted a sizeable win on Thursday night against Liga de Quito, Estudiantes’ conquerors in the previous round of the Copa Libertadores. Knowing they’ll have to travel to the Ecuadorian capital to play a high-altitude second leg, Ramón Díaz’s team needed to attack and get a couple of goals ahead for their fans to feel some comfort going into next week’s rematch. They were curiously lethargic, though, and a 1-1 draw leaves them on the precipice…

The match turned on the ten minute period before half time. In that time, the visitors pounced on an error to take the lead, San Lorenzo hit back – and then almost immediately conceded again, but got a reprieve when the goal was disallowed for offside. Those few minutes were as good as the match really got, and the end result won’t be one many Cuervos are happy with.

San Lorenzo started slowly, surprising many observers who’d expected them to come out all guns blazing looking for a comfortable lead to travel to Quito with. In the event, Andrés D’Alessandro didn’t have one of his better games, and the match was fourteen minutes old before the home side had a real chance of a goal; Gonzalo Bergessio, the double-goal-scoring hero last week against River in the Monumental, hit the post after Cristián Tula had headed down a D’Alessandro cross. The only significant action prior to that was Santiago Hirsig’s rough early ‘tackle’ on Joffre Guerrón, Liga’s best player so far in this Copa and the TV broadcaster’s eventual man of the match.

Guerrón was putting the home defence to the test throughout the first half, getting wide and sending in crosses, but Jairo Campos in particular was guilty of missing one gilt-edged chance, and it was only through a hideous goalkeeper cock-up that the Ecuatorians took the lead. Gastón Aguirre passed the ball back to Agustín Orión in the San Lorenzo goal, and the young goalkeeper, normally so level-headed, tried getting clever with the ball and instead laid it off perfectly for Claudio Bieler. The visiting forward wasn’t in the mood to be similarly generous, and the visitors were a goal up away from home.

San Lorenzo got level within two minutes. A free kick was awarded 25 yards out in a position tailor-made for Adrián González, who took hold of the ball, placed it, took three steps back and curled it beautifully over the wall and into the far bottom corner. Liga goalkeeper Cevallos didn’t even move, and San Lorenzo had parity that looked perhaps a little generous given their play up to that point. Right from the restart, almost, they fell asleep and the ball was in Orión’s net again, but the linesman flagged for offside and although Liga could have scored again before the break, it remained level as the sides trudged back to the dressing rooms.

If the first half had started flatly, the second was almost subsiding. San Lorenzo lacked any imagination and also the drive and sheer bloody-mindedness that had seen them dump River out a week previously. Liga, by contrast, with former Newell’s man Damián Mansó providing some brains and guile going forward, were relatively content to sit back and play on the counter. Those counters were dangerous – on one ocassion San Lorenzo captain González had to clear off the line to prevent an own goal – but in spite of Ramón Díaz’s tactical tweaks, and D’Alessandro’s gradual realisation that there was a football match going on around him and that he’d probably better try playing some part in it, Los Santos couldn’t find a way through the Liga rearguard.

By the end, the visitors were playing for time and San Lorenzo looked deeply frustrated. Having seen Estudiantes fall to this side in the previous round after a dogged defensive display in Argentina had been complemented with an effective victory at altitude in Quito, Díaz and company won’t be overconfident going into the second leg (if a lack of confidence is a sensation Ramón Díaz ever has, that is). But home or away, they’ll have to play better than they did tonight if they’re going to advance to the semi-final.

San Lorenzo 1 – 1 Liga Deportiva Universitaria de Quito

6 thoughts on “San Lorenzo 1 – 1 LDU Quito

  1. I’m watching America versus Santos. America looks supremely confident, and why not after their monumental comeback last round. With Cabanas wreaking havoc up front and Ochoa in goal, they might be the team to beat. They were tough in the Sudaamericana as well and though I was rooting for Arsenal, I thought America got a raw deal in the match in Mexico (I was rooting Arsenal on in a bar in Mexico City-that’s another story !).

    Oops-looks like Santos had a goal disallowed for a phantom offside.

    Anyhow, with the possibility of Federico Insua returning to Boca from America, I hereby officially state my hope that Cabanas could be extracted as well to replace Palacio.:) Probably a long shot.

  2. Cabanas is a fantastic finisher, it’s true. I kind of begrudge him his success, because a footballer shouldn’t be able to get away with being so – if I may be blunt – fat and lazy. But he does.

    I don’t rate Ochoa nearly so high. In fact I think he’s the most overrated player in the Americas. Good keeper, sure, but he’s just a line keeper, a shot stopper. He does not come for crosses. He also never holds anything.

  3. Justin-I’ll look for that with Ochoa. I just got off the phone with Cabanas and told him what you said.

  4. The pizza delivery wore a San Lorenzo fleece and so I asked him: “What would you do to Orion if you find him on the street after that goal he gave away?”.

    Of course I didn’t reveal my team as he would have had a lot of reasons to laugh at me! ;)

    Anyway…just what was Orion thinking? I can’t believe the present he gave LDU by letting them score what could be the decisive away-goal.

    By the way, Justin and Johnny…I hate Cabañas and I hate Ochoa. They are the reasons why Flamengo is eliminated. Flamengo should have advanced to (at least) the semis. I’m gutted.

  5. Justin, I’m checking the site at work and have just shown your comments about Cabañas to a friend who supports Southampton. He’s know searching for as much about the guy as he can in the hope that he’s found Matt Le Tissier’s spiritual successor!

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