At first glance Independiente-Peñarol is an odd choice for game of the week. There were certainly more technically skillful games last week, there were higher scoring games, more dramatic and more controversial ones too however for anyone with a passion for South American football history this was a must watch game between two of the three most successful teams in the history of Copa Libertadores.
It was Independiente's first proper game in the Copa Libertadores since 2004 and perhaps the most iconic opponents they could possibly have faced in such a game. Both sides have been starved of success in recent years given their illustrious histories. Independiente had been without a major trophy since 2002 until they lifted the much derided Copa Sudamericana in order to qualify for the 2011 Copa Libertadores, they could never have done it through their league form having finished 20th and last in the Apertura 2010. Nobody has appeared in more Libertadores finals than Peñarol, but their 9th and last final was way back in 1987. Their league form is overshadowed by history too, they only have one league championship to their names since 2003, a remarkable decline for a side that were once part of an unstoppable duopoly with fierce local rivals Nacional.
Both sides came into the game on the back of some really poor form, Independiente were four games without a win and Peñarol only had one win in five. This poor form showed in the first half, which was not a great footballing exhibition. Things picked up for Independiente in the second half. Their Copa Sudamericana hero Facundo Parra scored the opening goal, defensive midfielder Cristian Pellerano hammered in a second through a crowded penalty area and substitute Andés Silvera sealed the win with a third goal late in the game.
Part of the game of the week series.