Velez takes contol of Group Four

March 13, 2013

Argentinian champions Velez Sarsfield took sole leadership of Group Four of the Copa Libertadores thanks to a 3-1 home win over Uruguayans Penarol.

Penarol, level with their hosts at the start of play, took the lead at the Estadio Jose Amalfitani in the 24th minute, when Fabian Estoyanoff netted a penalty, but Velez equalized four minutes later.

Defender Sebastian's free-kick hit the post and then Penarol keeper Enrique Bologna's back before it went in.

After 74 minutes Federico Insua gave Velez the lead with a penalty, before Colombian Jonathan Copete consolidated the win three minutes later with his first goal for the club.

The match was played behind closed doors as the South American Football Confederation had punished Velez Sarsfield for the violence started by their fans in Uruguay last week.

"In the opening minutes, we were in a hurry a little bit. As soon as we equalized, we relaxed and managed the ball," Velez defender Leandro Desabato told Fox Sports.

"When we scored the second goal, we found our game. Fortunately, we managed to win and we keep fighting."

With two rounds remaining, Velez lead on nine points, three above Penarol and Chile's Deportes Iquique.

Velez's compatriots Newell's Old Boys joined Universidad de Chile on top of Group Seven with a 2-0 win in Santiago.

Maximiliano Rodriguez (18) and Martin Tonso (83) gave Gerardo Martino's side the victory, their second in four matches.

Caracas remained alive in Group Eight as they came back from a goal down to beat Gremio 2-1.

Elano put Gremio ahead in the 16th minute, but Angelo Pena equalized in first-half injury time.

Eder Farias gave Caracas the win 21 minutes after the interval.

With Fluminense leading the group with seven points, Gremio and Caracas are level on six.

Finally, Paraguayan side Libertad consolidated their lead in Group Two with a 1-1 draw at Peruvian champions Sporting Cristal.

Libertad went ahead in the 52nd minute, with a powerful strike by Pablo Velazquez, before Irven Avila equalized.