The Liberty of Paraguay took advantage of the defensive errors of the Junior and achieved a hard-fought 3-4 victory as a visitor at the Metropolitano de Barranquilla stadium in an intense first leg duel of the round of 16 of the Cup
With a double from Héctor Villalba, a goal from Julio Enciso and another from midfielder Hugo Martínez, the Paraguayans beat Tiburon, for which veteran Carmelo Valencia scored; winger Marlon Piedrahita, who played as a midfielder, and winger Freddy Hinestroza.
The hosts surprised their rivals from the beginning and opened the scoring at minute 3 in a good play by side Walmer Pacheco, who debuted with the rojiblanco uniform and sent a long ball for Valencia that, behind the backs of the two centrals, appeared only in the area and sent the ball to the back of the net.
Amaranto Perea’s team maintained control and continued attacking an opponent who bet on the depth of the full-back Matías Espinoza, who did a lot of damage on the left side.
In this context, when everything seemed controlled at the beginning by Junior, the equality reached 10 when the central Alexander Barboza sent a long pass that Germán Mera could not clear and that was left to Villaba, who caught the ball when taking advantage of a slip from the side Gabriel Fuentes and took an inaccessible shot for Sebastián Viera.
Gumarelo, after the score, continued to take advantage of the local deconcentration and just three minutes later, in another defensive blunder, this time an error at the start, Villalba scored the 1-2 by receiving a deep pass from Martínez to enter alone to the area and define.
Those of Perea reacted and returned to the attack. Led by Venezuelan Luis ‘Cariaco’ González, they tied at 35th in a good play on the left wing by Fuentes, who sent a cross to Piedrahita and he, slipping, overcame the resistance of Uruguayan goalkeeper Martín Silva.
The Junior maintained the momentum and after three minutes regained the advantage after a weak clearance from central Christian Báez that was left to Hinestroza, who took a left-footed shot from medium distance that got into the Paraguayan goal with the complicity of Silva.
At the beginning of the second half, Espinoza, as in the first half, was projected and sent a low center that Viera cleared to the center of the area and it was left to Enciso who, without much opposition, celebrated the tie for Daniel Garnero’s team.
The match declined and neither team dominated the match or created danger. However, Libertad took advantage of another defensive error by Junior, this time from midfielder Larry Vásquez, who lost the ball at the start with Iván Franco, and the ball was left to Martínez, who beat Viera in hand-to-hand and gave him an advantage important to the Paraguayans facing the return.
3 – Junior: Sebastián Viera; Walmer Pacheco, Homer Martínez, Germán Mera, Gabriel Fuentes; Larry Vásquez (m.83, Juan Rodríguez), Didier Moreno, Luis “Cariaco” González (m.67, Johan Bocanegra), Freddy Hinestroza, Marlon Piedrahita (m.56, Cristian Martínez Borja), and Carmelo Valencia (m.67 , Edwuin Cetré).
Coach: Amaranto Perea
4 – Freedom: Martín Silva; Camilo Mayada, Alexander Barbosa, Cristian Báez, Matías Espinoza; Marcelo Díaz, Hugo Martínez, Bautista Merlini (m.55, Rodrigo Bogarín), Héctor Daniel Villalba (m.55, Iván Franco); Óscar ‘Tacuara’ Cardozo (m.90 + 2, Sebastián Ferreira) and Julio Enciso (m.79, Blas Cáceres).
Coach: Daniel Óscar Garnero
Goal: 1-0, Carmelo Valencia (m.3); 1-1, Héctor Daniel Villalba (m. 10); 1-2, Héctor Daniel Villalba (m. 13); 2-2, Marlon Piedrahita (d. 35); 3-2, Fredy Hinestoza (m. 38); 3-3, Julio Enciso. (m. 46); 3-4, Hugo Martínez (d. 69)
Referee: Brazilian Wilton Sampaio. He admonished Pacheco, Martínez and Enciso.
Incidents: first leg of the round of 16 of the South American Cup played at the Metropolitan Stadium in Barranquilla.