LA PAZ – Brazil’s Flamengo earned a 1-0 away win over Bolivian champions Club Deportivo San Jose in Oruro on Tuesday thanks to intelligent play, when both teams made their debut in Group D of the Copa Libertadores.
The match, played at an altitude of 3,700 meters in Bolivia’s fifth largest city, was marked by Flamengo goalkeeper Diego Alves, who prevented several chances to score for the locals, while the only goal was achieved by striker Gabriel Barbosa, or Gabigol, in the 60th minute.
San Jose began the match with an attacking game along the sidelines which resulted in dangerous shots from Argentina’s Javier Sanguinetti and Bolivia’s Rodrigo Ramallo.
However, after the first 10 minutes, Flamengo turned the match by improving their pressure in the middle of the pitch and tested the Bolivian team’s defense with constant counter attacks.
In the 20th minute, the Brazilians had their first chance to score by taking advantage of a defensive fault by San Jose which striker Gabriel Barbosa wasted with a deflected shot.
In the 35th and 37th minutes, San Jose’s Carlos Saucedo and Kevin Fernandez, respectively, had clear chances to open the account, but two magnificent saves from Flamengo goalkeeper Diego Alves were decisive for the Brazilian team not to go to the dressing rooms with a disadvantage.
In the second half, Flamengo won the reward for their defensive solidity and persistence in attack with a goal scored in the 60th minute by striker Gabriel Barbosa, after facing Bolivian goalkeeper Carlos Lampe head on.
In response, the first half’s script was repeated by San Jose with long-distance shots that constantly found the good response of goalkeeper Alves.
At the 65th minute, the coach of San Jose Nestor Clausen had exhausted the three changes with the intention of generating new ideas, but the proposals of the locals collided with the imprecision of their game and the growing role of Alves.
In the 82nd minute, striker Gabriel Barbosa again brought anxiety to the rival defense with a great counter attack which could have been the second goal of the game, but was saved by goalie Lampe.