Fortaleza and Estudiantes de la Plata turned their backs on their respective local tournaments on Thursday and played out a lively 1-1 draw in the first leg of the Copa Libertadores round of 16 at the Arena Castellao stadium.
In their first appearance in the continental tournament, the Brazilian team had the best options in the first half, but could not transfer their chances on the scoreboard.
Argentine attacker Silvio Romero, who scored a goal in the opening period that was denied offside, opened the scoring in the 55th minute after a fine pass from Juninho Capixba.
Fortaleza’s score, a team characterized by quick changes in attack, was the 14th he achieved this year in counterattack action.
“Pincha”, who has 7 units and is ranked 17th in the Argentine league, reacted quickly, thanks in large part to the offensive changes he implemented after putting himself at a disadvantage.
In the 63rd minute, midfielder Benjamin Rollheiser, who had recently joined the team from River Plate, began tie play, which ended at the feet of Leandro Diaz, another of a setback by coach Ricardo Zielinski.
Fortaleza, who are last in the Brazilian tournament with only 10 points from 14 games, tried to gain the advantage but crashed with a firm defensive act from Estudiantes, with defender Agustin Rogel standing out.
“We were a clean team throughout the match. It was very close and the tie was good”, Zielinski said after the game.
The Argentine team, which has won the Libertadores four times, will be local in the rematch next Thursday, July 7 at the UNO Stadium in La Plata.
The winner of this key will face the winner of the series between Atlético Paranás and Libertad in the quarterfinal stage.