Libertadores Cup — Semifinal previewWednesday, July 23, 2014
San Lorenzo tries to remain in title contention
After the two-month break due to the World Cup, San Lorenzo restarts today its aim of clinching the Libertadores Cup when it hosts Bolívar of La Paz in the first leg semifinal match at 7.15pm at the Nuevo Gasómetro stadium.
San Lorenzo is the only of so-called Big Five — Boca Juniors, River Plate, Independiente and Racing Club, all Libertadores Cup winners that has not won this tournament yet.
San Lorenzo’s coach Edgardo Bauza is looking to win the trophy for a second time after seeing his LDU Quito side crowned as Ecuador’s first South American champions in 2008.
The 56-year-old Argentine was in danger of losing a top trio of players during the long break, while the World Cup took place, but negotiations have ensured forward Ignacio Piatti sees the tournament out before his move to Montreal Impact in Canada.
Paraguayan holding midfielder Néstor Ortigoza’s contract with San Lorenzo was due to end on June 30 but he managed to agree a new three-year deal.
Veteran Leandro Romagnoli had a red card in the quarterfinal annulled by regional governing body CONMEBOL after a mistake by the referee. In the wake of Brazil’s humiliating semifinal exit from their own World Cup finals, this year’s last four line-up is the first since 1991 not to feature a Brazilian team — and it will therefore be the first time since 2005 that Brazil has not supplied a finalist.
It will also be the first time that the champions have not come from Brazil since 2009.
Ronaldinho’s title holders Atlético Mineiro were eliminated by Atlético Nacional of Colombia in the round of 16.
None of the four semifinalists have reached the final before and Bolivar are the first Bolivian side to reach the last four since they did so in 1986.
Uruguay’s Defensor Sporting was playing Nacional of Paraguay for the first leg of the other semifinal in Asuncion last night.
RECOPA SUDAMERICANA. Lanús plays Atlético Mineiro in Brazil today with the aim of overturning the 1-0 home loss in the first leg of the Recopa Sudamericana final. The match will be played at 10pm at the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte.
Diego Tardelli scored the only goal of the tie so far in Lanús to give the Argentine side an uphill task if they are to win the competition.
Both teams are competing to win the tournament for the first time, with Tardelli’s goal giving the Libertadores Cup holders an undoubted advantage ahead of today’s second leg.
Herald staff with Reuters