Vélez Sársfield 3-4 Universidad Cátolica

On 3 March 2011 Vélez Sársfield hosted Chilean champions Universidad Cátolica in group four of the 2011 Copa Libertadores. Both of the clubs were led by Argentine born managers, Vélez by their former player Ricardo Gareca and UC by former Spain international Juan Antonio Pizzi.

After the Chileans established a shock 0-1 lead through Argentine midfielder Lucas Pratto, Vélez stamped their authority on the game scoring three goals (through Fernando Ortiz, Augusto Férnandez & Emiliano Papa) to establish a 3-1 half time lead.

The turning point of the game can be seen as the sending off of Fernando Ortiz early in the second half. The expulsion clearly gave a confidence boost to Pizzi's team who had already made a strong demonstration of their never say die attitude to overcome Colo-Colo's seven point advantage at the top of the Chilean league to win their 10th national championship in December 2010.

Former Rosario Central midfielder Tomás Costa reduced the deficit with a cracking strike on 74 minutes and UC continued to go forward in search of an equaliser which eventually came in the 88th minute through Lucás Pratto's second goal of the game, nothing less than the visitors deserved for their second half endeavour.

Vélez then pushed forward in search of a winner leaving themselves wide open at the back for second half substitute Francisco Pizarro to grab the dramatic winning goal for the visitors in injury time. He was the first non-Argentine player to find his way onto the scoresheet.

Juan Antonio Pizzi can be rightly proud of his players and the fact that they showed the neccessary skill and determination to give UC their first ever away win against Argentine opposition in the Copa Libertadores.

For more great games involving South American teams, check out the rest of the Partidazo series.

Part of the game of the week series.

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