BOGOTÁ ( Associated Press) — Estudiantes de La Plata showed their mystique against a debutant.
The “Pincha”, four-time champion of the Copa Libertadores, thrashed Fortaleza 3-0 this Thursday and prevented the Brazilian teams from getting their sixth ticket to the quarterfinals of the continental tournament.
The group led by Ricardo Zielinski prevailed by an overall score of 4-1. The match played at the UNO Jorge Luis Hirschi stadium in La Plata quickly tipped in their favor.
In the 9th minute, the locals advanced thanks to the Uruguayan connection, after a cross by Agustín Rogel and a header by Manuel Castro.
Fortaleza were down a player at 21 due to a strong tackle by Yago Pikachu on Mauro Boselli, which Uruguayan referee Esteban Ostojich punished with a red card after reviewing the action in VAR.
Shortly after the restart, Castro signed his double with another header, which was preceded by a precise pass from Emmanuel Mas.
At 57, the rout of “León” was finished when Franco Zapiola took advantage of a mistake in the departure of goalkeeper Marcelo Boeck.
“They played very well against a tough rival. From the 1st to the 90th minute we dominated”, said Estudiantes coach Ricardo Zielinski. “The team had a very good attitude and we tried to interpret this mystique that the club has generated historically.”
The only bad news for the winners was the injury to Boselli, who left the field before halftime after suffering a tear in the plantar fascia of his right leg.
With the triumph of Estudiantes, the balance of teams qualified for the quarterfinals of Libertadores was five Brazilians and three Argentines.
The matches for the next round, which will take place on the 3rd and 10th of August, will be: Athletico Paranaense (BRA) – Estudiantes de La Plata (ARG); Palmeiras (BRA) – Atlético Mineiro (BRA); Flamengo (BRA) – Corinthians (BRA); and Talleres de Córdoba (ARG) – Vélez Sarsfield (ARG).