Reports & highlights of Group 1 in the 2011 Copa Libertadores.
|San Luis (Mex)||1-2||Libertad (Par)|
|Once Caldas (Col)||0-3||Universidad San Martín (Per)|
|Once Caldas (Col)||1-1||Libertad (Par)|
|Universidad San Martín (Per)||2-0||San Luis (Mex)|
|San Luis (Mex)||1-1||Once Caldas (Col)|
|Libertad (Par)||5-1||Universidad San Martín (Per)|
|Universidad San Martín (Per)||1-0||Libertad (Par)|
|Once Caldas (Col)||1-1||San Luis (Mex)|
|Libertad (Par)||2-2||Once Caldas (Col)|
|San Luis (Mex)||3-1||Universidad San Martín (Per)|
|Universidad San Martín (Per)||0-2||Once Caldas (Col)|
|Libertad (Par)||2-0||San Luis (Mex)|
|Universidad San Martín||6||2||0||4||7||11||−4||6|
Paraguayan side Libertad got off to a brilliant start with a 1-2 away win against Mexican side San Luis. Away wins are particularly rare in South American international tournaments so when they do occur it can be a huge boost to the winning team. The next day Peruvuan side Universidad San Martín recoreded an even bigger shock away win with a 0-3 result against current Colombian champions Once Caldas, the Argentine pair Germán Alemanno and Heber Arriola scored all three goals, Arriola's 2nd and the 3rd goal of the game was an exceptional looping shot.
Universidad San Martín recorded another great win in their second game a 2-0 home win against San Luis. Both goals came late in the game and it was international journeyman and former Middlesbrough player Carlos Marinelli that created the first goal and scored the second in the 90th minute. In the other game Once Caldas recovered from their 0-3 battering in their first game to put in a good performance against Paraguayan champions Libertad, A Dayro Moreno goal for the Colombians looked like it would be enough for the win until Victor Ayala hit a 93rd minute equaliser for 1-1.
Mexican side San Luis picked up their first point of the campaign with a 1-1 draw against Once Caldas however it was a poor result for both sides leaving them in the bottom two places despite having played a game more than the other two teams.
Libertad continued their good form with a thumping 5-1 win against Universidad San Martí. Things actually got off to a great start for the Peruvian vistors who went ahead through a Germán Alemanno goal after only four minutes however Libertad turned the game around and ended up scoring five goals through five different goalscorers.
Libertad became the first team to qualify for the knockout phase with a scrappy 0-1 win at Universidad San Martín. The outcome was determined by two penalty decisions, Argentine defender Julio Moreyra was sent off for the home team for deliberate handball and Sergio Aquino buried the penalty. Universidad San Martín had a brilliant chance to level the scores from the penalty spot after Ignacio Canuto handled in the penalty area however the penalty was saved. In the second half the 10 man side more than matched Libertad but they couldn't find an equaliser. Libertad can be proud to have qualified with two home games remaining but their underwhelming second half performance against the 10 men suggests that they may struggle if they are drawn against strong opponents in the next round.
In the second match Once Caldas were held to a 1-1 draw by San Luis. Most of the drama happened in the last quarter of an hour of the game, the Colombian side looked like they had won it with a 79th minute Luis Nuñez goal but in the 88th minute Alexis Henríqies of Once Caldas and Amaury Ponce of San Luis were sent off and the Mexican visitors salvaged a draw with a 94th minute equaliser from Juan Medina.
Once Caldas conceded an injury time equaliser for the third time in the last four group games to draw 2-2 away at Libertad. The first three goals came within the first twenty minutes, Wason Rentira scored twice for the visitors either side of a Nicolás Pavlovich goal for Libertad. The equaliser came with only seconds of injury time remaining, the Colombians wasted several chances to control the situation by running the ball into the corner and Pavlovich bagged his second goal of the game to punish the visitors who have now drawn four consecutive group games.
In the other game San Luis recorded their first victory of the campaign with a 3-1 win against Universidad San Martín. Ecuadorian midfielder Michael Arroyo was the hero for the home team bagging two of their three goals with a long range half volley then an excellent run and finish. This result meant that any one of the three remaining teams could still join Libertad in the knockout stages.
Libertad secured their place as one of the top seeds in the last sixteen draw with a 2-0 win against San Luis. They finish top of the group with 14 points, a total only bettered by the only other unbeaten team Cruzeiro. Jorge González and Nicolás Pavlovich scored the goals early in the first half.
Once Caldas jumped from the bottom of the group into second place with their first win of the group avenging their 0-3 opening day defeat against Universidad San Martín with a 0-2 win. Wason Rentira put the Colombians ahead after 17 minutes and Matías Mirabajes secured the points with a second goal on 75 minutes. Any fears of another late collapse were eased after Adan Balbín and Orlando Contreras were sent off in the last ten minutes.
For more South American football highlights, including the Argentine and Brazilian leagues, the pick of the rest and other international tournaments: