Wednesday, 27 February 2013 21:11
The 2-0 victory against Emelec helps keeps the Dragons in the running.
Deportes Iquique put on an impressive performance against Ecuador’s Emelec on Wednesday, securing their first victory — and keeping them in the running — in the Copa Libertadores.
The Iquique team had everything to lose against Emelec.
Until Wednesday, the Chilean side had struggled in the tournament. They lost a hard-fought battle 2-1 against Uruguay’s Peñerol in their first group match, and suffered a convincing 3-0 loss last weak to Buenos Aires’ Vélez Sarsfield.
A third straight loss would all but guarantee the Dragons’ departure from the tournament.
But it was clear from the opening minute that Iquique was playing to win.
Playing in front of their home crowd, Iquique dominated Emelec in the first half of the match.
In the 11th minute, Iquique fans began to celebrate after Misael Dávilla drilled a shot past Emelec keeper Esteban Dreer, but it was quickly called offside.
But Iquique held the momentum and it didn’t take long for the Dragons to score the first goal of the game. In the 14th minute, Dávilla passed the ball to an open Sebastián Ereros, who buried it in the Emelec net.
A few minutes later, Alvaro Ormeño sent a beautiful pass from the Iquique end to an open Manuel Villalobos, who danced around the defense and easily fired the ball past the keeper. For the first time in the tournament, Iquique ended the first half with a convincing lead.
In the second half, Iquique’s defense let up, giving up several scoring chances to Emelec. But the Ecuadorian team could not get a shot past Iquique’s Rodrigo Naranjo.
In the 78th minute, Emelec’s frustration with the game became evident. Gabriel Achilier threw an elbow into an incoming Iquique forward, and was subsequently given a red card and ejected from the game.
The final score of the match remained 2-0 in favor of Iquique.
Iquique’s next Copa Libertadores match is scheduled for March 5 in Ecuador against Emelec.
By Alicja Siekierska (email@example.com)
Copyright 2013 - The Santiago Times