Highlights: 2011 Copa Libertadores, Group 8

 Reports & highlights of Group 8 in the 2011 Copa Libertadores.


Godoy Cruz (Arg) 2-1 LDU Quito (Ecu)
Independiente (Arg) 3-0 Peñarol (Uru)
Godoy Cruz (Arg) 1-3 Peñarol (Uru)
LDU Quito (Ecu) 3-0 Independiente (Arg)
Peñarol (Uru) 1-0 LDU Quito (Ecu)
Independiente (Arg) 1-3 Godoy Cruz (Arg)
LDU Quito (Ecu) 5-0 Peñarol (Uru)
Godoy Cruz (Arg) 1-1 Independiente (Arg)
Peñarol (Uru) 2-1 Godoy Cruz (Arg)
Independiente (Arg) 1-1 LDU Quito (Ecu)
Peñarol (Uru) 0-1 Independiente (Arg)
LDU Quito (Ecu) 2-0 Godoy Cruz (Arg)


Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Ecuador LDU Quito 6 3 1 2 12 4 +8 10
Uruguay Peñarol 6 3 0 3 6 11 -5 9
Argentina Independiente 6 2 2 2 7 8 -1 8
Argentina Godoy Cruz 6 2 1 3 8 10 -2 7

Match reports

Round 1

Argentine side Godoy Cruz recoreded an impressive 2-1 win against the 2008 champions and Recopa Sudamericana holders LDU Quito on their Copa Libertadores debut. Their goals came from Carlos & Nicolás Sánchez either side of a Neicer Reasco strike for the visitors.

The last two teams to see action in the group stages were two of the most famous names in the history of South American football. Seven time champions Independiente cruized to a 3-0 against Peñarol. The home team is known as the king of cups, a nickname reinforced by their Copa Sudamericana triumph in December. Before this game they had been stuck in a rut of poor form without a win in four games. Peñarol were the perfect opponents in the second half, another team stuck in a bad run of form (one win in six by the final whistle). The Uruguayans were wasteful in posession, easily contained and defensively disorganised. The pick of the action was Cristian Pellerano's long range scorcher that he hammered through a crowded box like a nail.

Round 2

Peñarol recovered in time for their second game in which they took a 1-3 away win against Godoy Cruz. The Uruguayans took the lead within a minute but Rúben Ramírez equalised with an unmarked header before the half hour. The visitors then soaked up a lot of pressure and scored twice on the counter attack. They dealt effectively with dozens of balls played into their box and could have had more goals on the counter. The key player in the Peñarol counter attacking play was Argentine number ten Alejandro Martinuccio.

As expected Liga de Quito continued their devastating home form with a comfortable 3-0 win against Independiente, a result that levels all four teams up on three points after two games, giving some justification for those of us that picked this group out as one of the toughest to call.

Round 3

 having started out with two away games Uruguayan side Peñarol put in a strong performance in their first home game of the group stages with a 1-0 win against Liga de Quito. 20 year old Urretaviscaya had a cracking game for the hosts showing an electric turn of pace and some good skills too. Luis Aguilar bagged the only goal of the game lashing in a back post volley dirct from a corner.Peñarol climbed to the top of the table however both sides can remain hopeful of progression having two home games remaining each.

Godoy Cruz recovered from their recent run of poor home results to show that they can still do it on the road inflicting a 1-3 defeat on fellow Argentines Independiente who have now gone sixteen games without a win against Argentine opposition. The home side took the lead through Facundo Parra but Godoy Cruz fought back to claim their first ever away win at the continental level. This result leaves Independiente in all kinds of trouble, they are bottom of the group and two of their three remaining games are away from home.

Round 4

Liga de Quito kept up their remarkable run of home form with a 5-0 demolition of Peñarol, Walter Calderón in great form, terrorising the Uruguayan defence and bagging himself two goals. It was LDU's fifteenth game without defeat at their Casa Blanca fortress in all competitions a run extending back to October 2010. The last time they lost a competitive home game against foreign opposition was a 2-3 defeat by Brazilian side Sport Recife back in April 2009, since then they have won twelve consecutive home games in international tournaments (Sudamericana -8, Recopa -2, Libertadores -2). Both sides are still in with a decent chance of qualification, Liga have bolstered their goal difference and Peñarol have the advantage of playing their last two games at home.

One week later the two Argentine sides lined up for their rematch. Independiente struck an early blow with Matías Defederico scoring a cracking goal in the first minute. Godoy Cruz took around half an hour to recover their composure which is understandable given their unreliable home form.

"El Tomba" found their equaliser in the 34th minute after man of the match Carlos Sánchez put in a decent cross and Rúben Ramírez was allowed a free header. Independiente goalkeeper Hilario Navarro did not cover himself in glory doing a rubbish superman impression and allowing Ramírez an open goal to aim at. Navarro made up for his error in the second half with a couple of good saves and a much more commanding performance. The 1-1 draw meant that Godoy Cruz climbed to the top of the group but they only have two away games remaining while Independiente have now gone 23 away games without a win and are rooted to the bottom of the group and will be out of the tournament if they don't beat Liga de Quito in their next game.

Round 5

Godoy Cruz faced their first two away games on foreign soil  in official competition in their last two group games. After a 2-1 defeat against Peñarol in Uruguay they are in serious danger of missing out on qualification. Unless Independiente beat Liga de Quito next week Godoy Cruz will need a win at the Casa Blanca where Liga have not lost in international competition for twelve games since April 2009.

Independiente were eliminated after they could only manage a 1-1 draw at home against Liga de Quito.Leonel Núñez put the Argentine side ahead from the penalty spot but former Racing Club player Hernán Barcos ensured their elimination with a second half equaliser.

Round 6

Independiente were already as good as out before they even kicked off but they can be fairly pleased with a decent 0-1 win against Peñarol in Montevideo. Facundo Parra scored the only goal of the game to give Independiente their first away win in international tournaments since a 0-1 win at Rosario Central in Copa Sudamericana 2003. The game in Montevideo was marred by two sendings off late in the game, Peñarol's Juan Manuel Olivera was sent off for a headbut and Independiente goalkeeper Fabián Assman also saw red for his reaction.

Godoy Cruz knew that they needed a win at Liga's Casa Blanca fortress but they couldn't muster their first ever competitive away win on foreign soil. Luis Bolaños put the hosts ahead in the 48th minute, Hernán Barcos bagged a second on 59 minutes and within three minutes of that the game was up after Carlos Sánchez got himself sent off. This result ensured that Liga joined Peñarol in the knockout round at the expense of both of the groups Argentine sides.

For more South American football highlights, including the Argentine and Brazilian leagues, the pick of the rest and other international tournaments:

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