BUENOS AIRES – Argentine Rosario Central and Brazilian Gremio ended their first game with a 1-1 draw in a debut match for Group H of the Copa Libertadores.
Fernando Zampedri took the lead for the local team in the second minute, but Everton equalized for the visitor team just 11 minutes later at the Gigante de Arroyito stadium in the city of Rosario.
The home team played a committed match amid a crisis with the departure of their former coach Edgardo Bauza and the debut of their new one, Paulo Ferrari.
The Gremio, champion of Copa Libertadores in 1983, 1995 and 2017 and a semifinalist last year, has proven to be a strong competitor.
The match started with a lot of energy, to the point that Rosario Central immediately took the lead with a cross from the left that met the head of Zampedri and left goalkeeper Paulo Victor with no reaction.
The team led by Renato “Gaucho” Portaluppi later reacted, and in the 13th minute Everton fired – without being stopped by Jeremias Ledesma – to get the draw.
This gave momentum to the visitors, who then had the opportunity three times to go to the break with an advantage, but striker Felipe Vizeu was not precise enough to pin down another goal.
On March 12, Gremio will receive Libertad in Porto Alegre, and Rosario Central will meet Universidad Catolica in Santiago on March 13.