Wednesday, 13 February 2013 20:24
Iquique’s first match in the group stages of the Copa Libertadores ends in a 2-1 loss.
Despite a strong showing Wednesday night, Deportes Iquique was unable to pull off a win against Uruguay’s Peñarol, and will need to step it up in their next matches if they hope to move on in the tournament.
The match started with a bang as Peñarol’s Fabián Estoyanoff gracefully weaved around Iquique’s defense, facing Iquique keeper Naranjo one-on-one and easily placing the ball past him to put his side up in the fifth minute.
Peñarol was robbed of a second goal scored by Marcelo Zalayeta in the 17th minute, after the referee ruled the forward offsides. Fans of the Uruguayan made no attempts to hide their disagreements with the officials.
Iquique was still very much in the game despite being a goal down for the entire half. Captain Rodrigo Díaz had an opportunity to even the score with a free kick in the 10th minute, but put it too far wide.
In the 58th minute, Manuel Villalobos finally found the net, putting Iquique on the score sheet. Villalobos was served a beautiful cross from Edson Puch. Puch fought past two defenders and pulled Peñarol’s keeper, Enrique Bologna, out of position, passing off the ball just in time for Villalobos to tap it into the net.
Although the Dragons’ defense improved in the second half, a lapse in organization allowed Estoyanoff and Juan Manuel Olivera to get through and put Peñarol up 2-1 in the 72nd minute.
With this loss Deportes Iquique is now at the bottom of its group along with Argentinian club Vélez Sarsfield. Peñarol is now leading the group alongside Emelec of Ecuador with one win each.
Iquique’s next Copa Libertadores match is set for Feb. 20 against Vélez Sarsfield in Buenos Aires.
By Charlotte Karrlsson-Willis (email@example.com)
Copyright 2013 Santiago Times