Copa Libertadores: Lanús out

Almost ignored by the Argentine press, Lanús went out of the Copa Libertadores on Wednesday night with a 0-0 draw away to Mexican giants Chivas de Guadalajara. In truth they were only playing for pride anyway, needing two wins to stand the slimmest chance of qualifying, but the second Argentine elimination of the current Copa was confirmed in spite of their best efforts.

Young manager Luis Zubeldía (who at 28 isn’t as old as some of his players) said after the game that he was proud of his players having given their all. ‘It’s not easy to go out and play knowing that you’ve been practically knocked out already… we played for our honour, and this team showed great nobility. It’s a shame we couldn’t get better results.’

Just why Lanús weren’t able to translate their often blistering domestic form to continental competition is a puzzler, though. Against Chivas they were caught cold at the start of the year, and since then the more patient mindset required in the Copa has been slightly beyond a young team and boss. It’s still a bit early for Lanús in 2009, but if they can keep the team together and use the experience wisely, better times could be ahead for next year…

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