Reports & highlights of Group 3 in the 2011 Copa Libertadores.
|Fluminense (Bra)||2-2||Argentinos Juniors (Arg)|
|Club América (Mex)||2-0||Nacional (Uru)|
|Fluminense (Bra)||0-0||Nacional (Uru)|
|Argentinos Juniors (Arg)||3-1||Club América (Mex)|
|Nacional (Uru)||0-1||Argentinos Juniors (Arg)|
|Club América (Mex)||1-0||Fluminense (Bra)|
|Argentinos Juniors (Arg)||0-1||Nacional (Uru)|
|Fluminense (Bra)||3-2||Club América (Mex)|
|Nacional (Uru)||2-0||Fluminense (Bra)|
|Club América (Mex)||2-1||Argentinos Juniors (Arg)|
|Nacional (Uru)||0-0||Club América (Mex)|
|Argentinos Juniors (Arg)||2-4||Fluminense (Bra)|
Argentinos Juniors secured an impressive 2-2 draw against Brazilian champions Fluminense in the first game of the group stages. It was a game of four headers, 5' 4" Franco Niell scored two headers for Argentinos Juniors and Rafael Moura equalised twice also with headers. In the other opening match Club América beat Nacional 2-0 with an early goal in each half.
Having started the group with two home games Fluminense will be massively disappointed with their 0-0 draw against Nacional, meaning that they have dropped points in both of them. They will now need to prove that they can play away from home if they want to have any chance of getting out of such a difficult group. Nacional on the other hand can be fairly happy to have taken a point from their opening pair of tough away games, they can look forward to playing three out of their remaining four games in front of their own fans at the Parque Central.
Argentinos Juniors got their first win of the campaign to go top of group 3 with a 3-1 win against Club América. They did it the hard way falling behind to an unmarked header from América's Argentine midfielder Rolfi Montenegro. Argentinos came back with two goals from Santiago Salcedo either side of half time before Cristián Sánchez Prette scored with a 94th minute drive, yet another stunning late goal in this year's competition.
Argentinos Juniors secured a vital 0-1 away win against Nacional to secure their place at the top of the group after three games. Franco Niell was the goalscoring hero for the Argentine side but his opportunity was gifted to him by a calamitous misunderstanding between Nacional's goalkeeper Leonardo Burián and their Brazilian defender Gabriel Marques.
In the other game Club América recovered from their mauling by Argentinos Juniors last week to record a 1-0 win against Fluminense with Argentine midfielder 'Rolfi' Montenegro winning himself the time and space to pick out the perfect pass for Daniel Marquez to score.
Argentinos Juniors were rocked by a shock 0-1 home defeat to Nacional, a team they convincingly beat in Uruguay two weeks ago. Santiago García scored the goal after easily stripping defender Santiago Gentiletti of posession, the 20 year old striker made a nuicance of himself for the whole game and was selected by many as the man of the match. Argentinos laboured to get back into the game but Nacional often looked the more likely to score on the counter attack. This result ended Argentinos Juniors eight game unbeaten start to 2011 and opened the group wide for any of the teams to qualify.
The following week saw the return match between Fluminense and América. In a game featuring a lot of shambolic defending from both sides the Brazilians twice came from behind before second half substitute Deco hit the winner in the 87th minute.
Nacional kept alive their hopes of making it to the knockout phase with a 2-0 win against Brazilian champions Fluminense meaning that if they win their final home game against Club América they are certain to qualify. Santiago García was the hero with both of the goals.
Argentinos Juniors lost 2-1 in Mexico against Club América who jumped to the top of the group. The result meant that any two of the four teams could still qualify and left Argentinos needing a win against Fluminense in their last game to ensure qualification. Franco Niell put the Argentine visitors ahead early in the second half with a near post header from a corner but their advantage was overturned with goals from second half substitutes Vicente Vuoso and Daniel Márquez.
In the final round of games Fluminense recorded an impressive 2-4 away win against Argentinos Juniors to secure their place in the knockout stages. Nacional missed out by the narrowest of margins after they could only manage a 0-0 draw against Club América.
Argentinos will be hugely disappointed to have missed out on qualification given that a single pointfrom any of their last three games would have been enough to qualify given their impressive start to the group stage. They never looked comfortable in the game against Fluminense coming back from a goal behind twice, but could not find another goal after their goalkeeper Nicolás Navarro gifted Rafael Moura an easy goal. Fred scored a fourth from the penalty spot late in the game to secure the points.
For more South American football highlights, including the Argentine and Brazilian leagues, the pick of the rest and other international tournaments: