MONTEVIDEO – Ecuadorian Barcelona SC scored a valuable away win on Wednesday in Montevideo, with a 2-1 victory in the last minute of the game against Uruguay’s Defensor Sporting, in the first leg of the second round of the Copa Libertadores, and now has great chances to advance.
The Guayaquil outfit, coached by Uruguayan coach Guillermo Almada, won a tough and evenly contested game thanks to goals from striker Ely Esterilla in the 66th minute and defender Xavier Arreaga in the 94th minute.
In the first half, there were only few clear shots at the goals and many fouls by both teams.
In the fourth minute, Barcelona had to make a first replacement as defender Robert Herrera was injured and was substituted by Arreaga, who became the most important player of the match.
With Barcelona controlling the ball and showing the initiative to look for the rival goal, in the 18th minute they had their first arrival in front of the Uruguayan goal, although they did not succeed due to a foul committed by Oscar Estupinan on Nicolas Correa.
After the first half hour of the match, Defensor had the first attack with a free kick that was easily cleared by the Barcelona defense and eight minutes later Defensor’s Martin Rabunal had a shot from outside the area but Barcelona’s goalkeeper Damian Frascarelli prevented a goal.
In the second half, Barcelona came out with more initiative, trying to open the scoring and Caicedo had good chance but failed to settle.
The team gained in dynamics of their attacking game, and in the 67th minute Ely Esterilla, after assistance from Marcos Caicedo, headed to mark the opening score for Barcelona.
Almada, the coach of Barcelona, was sent off in the 71st minute due to excessive protests to the referee.
The equalizer came in the 80th minute, when Defensor’s forward Alvaro Navarro pulled out a kick from more than 20 meters that left Damian Frascarelli unresponsive and thus marked the 1-1 draw.
After the draw, Defensor came out in search of victory and in the 83rd minute goalkeeper Frascarelli showed off by stopping a dangerous arrival from Facundo Milan.
However, in the last minute and after a bad clearance, the Ecuadorian defender Arreaga was left alone in front of the goalkeeper and did not hesitate to convert the winning goal for Barcelona.