Copa Libertadores 2009: Lanús 1 – 1 Caracas

Lanús exited the Copa Libertadores a couple of weeks ago with a draw away to Chivas in Guadalajara, but on the day CONMEBOL announced Mexican clubs won’t be playing in their own country in this season’s competition from now on due to the swine flu epidemic, they said good bye formally, with their final group match. In Rosario, meanwhile, Wednesday brought the latest off-pitch news regarding ex Newell’s Old Boys president Eduardo López.

In El Sur, against a largely second string Lanús side (the priority for the hosts now very much being the league campaign), Caracas started the stronger side, creating two decent chances inside the first five minutes. In spite of playing three up, Lanús couldn’t get close to the opposing goal, and it was Caracas who took the lead after half an hour. Argentine forward Diego Figueroa got onto Jesús Gómez’s quickly taken free kick and made no mistake.

In the 38th minute, Iván Macalik equalised, towering above everyone else in the box to win a header which passed into the net thanks in part to a fairly relaxed approach to goalkeeping on the part of visiting custodian Renny Vega. 1-1 the match finished, and Lanús, who failed totally to recreate their domestic form in continental competition, have at least had a dignified exit to the tournament.

Dignified exits are more, of course, than Eduardo López managed after he was voted out of the Newell’s presidency after 14 years of dictatorship back in December. On Wednesday, the new directorial commission of the club, lead by Guillermo Lorente, presented their formal petition for López’s incarceration, which will now go to the tribunal courts. If López is found guilty of the charges against him, which range from ‘cheques issued from we-don’t-know-where’ to transfers for ‘more than 100%’ of players’ registrations, all adding up to fraudulent and corrupt administration of the football club, he could have to complete at least part of any sentence in jail. Best of luck, Newell’s.

For the goals from the Lanús match, check back on Thursday night, as I’ve waited half an hour since the game finished, they’re still not up, and my bed is calling me…

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