Sanchez and Peralta Give Santos a Bright Start in Libertadores Cup
Liga MX team Santos Laguna started their Copa Libertadores journey on the right foot after defeating Argentinian squad Arsenal de Sarandi 1-0 with a goal by Oribe Peralta, who ended his scoring drought in superb fashion at the Estadio Corona in their first game after 10 years of not participating in the biggest tournament of the American continent.
Santos Laguna covered every inch of the field since the start of the game, knowing that it was crucial to start collecting points and making the most of their home field advantage in the early stages of the tournament if they hope to make out of the group stage.
The Argentinian squad, seemed content just falling back, trying to minimize the damage that Pedro Caixinha's boys could cause the 2007 South American Cup champions.
It would take the home team 19 minutes to open the scoring, when Colombian forward Darwin Quintero smashed through 3 different defenders into the opposition's penalty box to set up unmarked Mexican star striker Oribe Peralta with a perfect ball in front of goal that he rifled into Campestrini's back of the net.
3 minutes later. the Arse had a chance to equalize the game when Damian Perez headed towards goal from a corner kick but defender Jose Abella managed to deflect in order to save Santos.
On the final minutes of the first half, Oribe Peralta scored again but this time from an offside position., thus ending the first half with Santos on top.
Gustavo Alfaro's squad, realized that Santos didn't had their full heart on the game and since the weather was nice and the attendance modest, Arsenal de Sarandi came out swinging feeling comfortable at the Corona stadium.
They started moving the ball on the midfield, making their way into Oswaldo's danger zone, breaking down the Santos defense very easily all throughout the second half.
Martin Rolle and Mariano Echeverria both got together to terrorize Oswaldo Sanchez, who was key in Santos being able to retain their 1-0 lead, after various reflex saves that made the veteran keeper look like the once intimidating force that protected the 3 posts of the Mexican national team.
Santos also had a chance to widen the gap when Darwin Quintero caught a ball inside the penalty box, just in front of goal but his shot went above the post, leaving Santos feeling a little desperate for losing control of the game.
But thanks to retaining ball possession, an amazing midfield job in recovering the ball and a superb performance by the legendary Mexican keeper, Santos was able to stand their ground against the relentless assault of the 2012 Argentinian Primera Division champions.
The team from the Comarca Lagunera rises to the first place of group 8 with 3 points, but their position is still subject to change as Uruguayan team Peñarol faces Colombian squad Deportivo Anzoategui on Wednesday, February 12.
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