Before Cruzeiro and Estudiantes met in the opening round of Group 7 in the 2011 Copa Libertadores many people had selected the encounter out as the pick of the first round of games. It was widely expected that the Argentine champions Estudiantes would give Cruzeiro a tough game however the home side barely gave their visitors a chance to get started before Wallyson bundled the ball home affter one minute of play.
Cruzeiro utterly dominated the first half, scoring two more goals from Roger and Argentine midfielder Walter Montillo to make it 3-0 at half time. Montillo played an absolute blinder of a performance of the calibre that provokes the question why the hell did Argentine side San Lorenzo offload such a quality player to the wilderness of the Chilean league in 2008?
In the second half Montillo continued to control the game from midfield and bagged another goal before Wallyson rounded the game off with a late fifth goal to inflict Estudiantes' worst ever defeat in international competition. Throughout the game Estudiantes had no defensive shape and barely strung together a coherent attack, an astonishingly lacklustre performance from a team that only conceded eight goals in nineteen games to win the Apertura 2010 tournament.
A quick look through Estudiantes opening away games in Copa Libertadores in recent years should have had people running to put bets on Cruzeiro to win.
- 2006 - Bolívar 1-0 Estudiantes
- 2008 - Cuenca 1-0 Estudiantes
- 2009 - Cruzeiro 3-0 Estudiantes
- 2010 - Alianza Lima 4-1 Estudiantes
The only positive that Estudiantes can take from this game is the fact that after their 0-3 defeat against Cruzeiro in the opening game of the 2009 Copa Libertadores they recovered to to win the tournament, however nobody in the history of the tournament has recovered from a 5-0 defeat in their opening game to win the competition.
For more great games involving South American teams, check out the rest of the Partidazo series.