Gareca upbeat over Velez chances

Velez Sarsfield coach Ricardo Gareca is certain his side can overcome a two-goal deficit and reach the Copa Sudamericana final on Tuesday.

The reigning Argentinian champions lost 2-0 to Ecuador’s Liga Deportiva Universitaria in the first leg of the semi-finals, but Gareca told Clarin: "It is a difficult result, but not decisive. We have enough talent to recover.

"I told my players the return game will be difficult but not impossible. We have confidence and faith. They play differently as visitors. When they are hosts they risk more, they feel more sure.

"We have to attack Liga, but calmly. We should not feel anxious. We are experienced enough to make it.”

Gareca added in a media conference: "The 2-0 defeat was a result we did not expect but we are used to these moments. We’ll play behind our own fans, who are always close to us.

"The guys are fine to fight to win this tie.”

Liga boss Edgardo Bauza rested some of his star players against Imbabura on Sunday, but is taking nothing for granted.

"There are 90 minutes left and they are going to be as intensive as the first game was,” he said.

"(In the first game) there were 15 minutes in which Velez took the ball and we were unable to recover it. It was a very bad period of time for us.

"We will play a team who already proved they can put us close to our own goal zone. We must play a very intelligent game and fight a lot in order to make it into the finals."

The other semi-final tie will see Universidad de Chile take on Brazilian giants Vasco da Gama on Wednesday after the teams drew 1-1 in Rio de Janeiro last week.