Roger Guedes, Hulk penalties saved while Athletico-PR claim first leg in Copa Libertadores

By Sports Desk June 28, 2022

Boca Juniors claimed an important result in their first-leg tie against Corinthians in the last 16 of the Copa Libertadores, holding on for a 0-0 draw in Sao Paulo on Tuesday.

Corinthians dominated proceedings at home but were not able to capitalise, with Roger Guedes also failing to convert from the penalty spot with the interval approaching.

It would have been a deserved lead for the Timao after a positive opening 45 minutes, but Guedes was brilliantly denied in the 43rd minute by Agustin Rossi, who guessed correctly and quickly reacted to save.

The home side's best chance in open play fell to Giuliano after a mazy dribble into the penalty area from Willian in the 46th minute, but Marcos Rojo scrambled to quell the danger.

With Exequiel Zeballos and Dario Benedetto struggling to have a tangible impact, coming back to Buenos Aires for the second leg with parity intact is a positive for Boca, after also failing to defeat Corinthians in their two Group E games.

Ortiz denies CAM smash and grab

Emelec will have to progress past Atletico Mineiro in Belo Horizonte after only managing a 1-1 draw at home in the first leg.

As expected under Antonio Mohamed, CAM primarily looked to absorb pressure, and they scored against the run of play in the 16th minute. A spectacular first touch from Hulk to bring Everson's hoof under control put Ademir through, and he calmly converted past Pedro Ortiz.

Emelec captain Sebastian Rodriguez deservedly got his side back on level terms in the 58th minute, but CAM had a penalty of their own with two minutes of regular time remaining. Ortiz stood up this time, though, denying Hulk what would have been the winner.

Athletico-PR take first leg

Two first-half goals from Athletico Paranaense allowed them to secure a 2-1 win at home to Libertad in Curitiba.

After confirming Fernandinho's signing from Manchester City, Luiz Felipe Scolari's side were characteristically solid defensively, but only after they hit the lead a second time.

Vitor Roque put the hosts ahead in only the sixth minute but the Paraguayan champions equalised through Hector Villalba in the 20th minute. Athletico PR restored the lead 12 minutes later, with Nicolas Hernandez scoring the eventual winner.

Related items

  • 'I don't see a team that is miles ahead' – Gundogan confident about Germany's World Cup chances 'I don't see a team that is miles ahead' – Gundogan confident about Germany's World Cup chances

    There were mixed feelings from the German camp after Monday's dramatic 3-3 draw against England in the UEFA Nations League, with manager Hansi Flick calling it "a good test".

    Germany led 2-0 after a 52nd minute penalty from Ilkay Gundogan and a goal from Kai Havertz in the 67th, but that advantage was wiped out in just over 15 minutes.

    Luke Shaw struck in the 72nd, Mason Mount equalised three minutes later, and a penalty to Harry Kane put the English up 3-2 in the 83rd.

    Ultimately, an 87th-minute leveller from Havertz saw the two sides share the points, and it gave Flick some mixed emotions.

    "The first half was balanced, in the second we deservedly led 2-0 – then we made individual mistakes," he said. "It must not happen that we give up a lead like that. 

    "But we came back, that's the positive. It was a good test, we take a lot of positive things with us, but also negative things. There's some work for us to do, but we're optimistic, otherwise we could stay at home."

    Midfielder Joshua Kimmich provided a little more insight into exactly what went wrong to allow such a rapid collapse.

    "We had everything under control and deservedly led 2-0 – then we became far too passive," he said. "No longer pushing through consistently, defending far too deep, no longer having the courage to play against the ball… but in terms of body language and engagement, it was an improvement.

    "Everyone now has six weeks to get a good feeling and then we will attack."

    After scoring two goals, Havertz said to only get a draw from a match like that "must of course worry you" but suggested that it "was another good game to learn from".

    Meanwhile, Gundogan was not afraid to talk about Germany's lofty goals, saying they are heading to Qatar with the plan of making the final.

    "It's not unrealistic," he said. "Of course, a lot has to come together. I don't see a team that is miles ahead.

    "We have shown over long periods that we can do it at the highest level. We have to try to do that for 90 minutes. At a World Cup you have much less leeway to make mistakes than today."

  • 'I want to make clear the reasons' – Barcelona's Araujo says surgery not a case of club versus country 'I want to make clear the reasons' – Barcelona's Araujo says surgery not a case of club versus country

    Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo says the decision to undergo thigh surgery is not a matter of club versus country, with the centre-back set to miss the Qatar 2022 World Cup with Uruguay.

    The 23-year-old had been widely expected to be a lock for Diego Alonso's side ahead of the end-of-year tournament.

    But Barcelona's announcement that he will undergo thigh surgery for a tendon problem in Finland on Wednesday, with a likely three-month lay-off to follow, looks to have dashed those plans.

    Taking to social media on Monday, however, Araujo was quick to shoot down suggestions he had chosen the Blaugrana over his country, instead stating he was merely following the best medical advice.

    "I want to make clear the reasons why I made my decision, to avoid speculation," he wrote. "I love my country and I love my team.

    "After consulting with several professionals, we decided the best [choice was] surgical intervention. Here, it is not about choosing one or the other, it is about health and getting back to 100 per cent as soon as possible.

    "Personally, these are difficult times and I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the support I'm receiving.

    "With faith and hard work, I'll do my best to get back to as quickly as possible. Hugs and blessings!"

    Uruguay will need to finalise their squad for Qatar 2022 by November 13, a week ahead of the host nation's opening game with Ecuador.

    They themselves begin their campaign four days later, on November 24, when they face South Korea in Group H.

  • Mancini unhappy despite Italy win as Rossi praises 'best in the world' Donnarumma Mancini unhappy despite Italy win as Rossi praises 'best in the world' Donnarumma

    Roberto Mancini was not entirely satisfied by Italy's Nations League win over Hungary, while Marco Rossi hailed Gianluigi Donnarumma as the "best goalkeeper in the world".

    Goals from Giacomo Raspadori and Federico Dimarco saw the Azzurri leapfrog their hosts to top Group A3 and qualify for next year's finals, alongside Croatia and the Netherlands.

    Yet the visitors were forced to weather a late onslaught from Hungary, kept in the game through Paris Saint-Germain keeper Donnarumma, who lived up to his reputation with a string of impressive saves.

    That gradually eroded control over the match frustrated Mancini, who felt his side rested on their laurels too much across the closing stages of Monday's encounter.

    "It was a difficult game," he told RAI Sport. "It was all perfect until the final 20 minutes.

    "We really need to improve in our ability to control the game for 90 minutes, as we worked so hard to be 2-0 up, so suffering like that in the final 20 minutes just makes no sense.

    "We should have kept pushing for a third goal. I lost my voice because I was shouting so much in the final 20 minutes."

    Rossi, who played alongside Mancini in a brief stint with Sampdoria almost three decades ago and embraced warmly at full-time, was more philosophical on his side's defeat.

    However, the Italian was fast to praise countryman Donnarumma, who after something of a mixed first year at PSG following his Euro 2020 heroics, looks back to his best this season.

    "It would have been nice to perform a miracle tonight, but when you play against teams like Italy, you have to make zero mistakes and hope the other side get it wrong," Rossi said in his post-match press conference.

    "Even when we did have the chances, we were kept out by the best goalkeeper in the world. It's no coincidence that PSG signed Donnarumma."

    Rossi also hailed Hungary's supporters, praising their "great respect and civility" for their opponents in Budapest.

    "I've been in football for many years," he added. "I've seen packed stadiums and fans on their feet, but never anything like the passion you can feel when Hungary play on home turf."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.