Brazil’s Cruzeiro put themselves in a strong position to claim a third Libertadores Cup title when they ground out a scoreless draw at Estudiantes in a scrappy first leg of the final in La Plata on Wednesday.
Brazil national team goalkeeper Fabio shone for the visitors with five brilliant saves, including two from Estudiantes danger man Juan Sebastian Veron in the first half, before Cruzeiro almost snatched a late winner.
Despite the disappointing outcome, the Argentine side did manage to complete all their home games without conceding a goal and will still fancy their chances of causing an upset in the second leg in Belo Horizonte on Wednesday.
It was a tactical victory for the Brazilians who packed their midfield, cut the ball supply to Estudiantes’ forwards and reduced the Argentine side to counterattacks and set pieces to try and force a breakthrough.
Niggling fouls on both sides took the flow out of the game, with Cruzeiro penalized 28 times and Estudiantes 23 times. The home side also failed to take advantage of 10 corners.
“We had the best chances ... but their goalkeeper had his night,” said Veron, whose side are looking for a fourth victory in the competition for Estudiantes.
Man of the match Fabio, Cruzeiro’s captain, said: “It’s a good result, the team played well, it was very difficult. We even had chances to score. My hardest save was in the first half face-to-face [with Perez].”
TAIWANESE TO PLAY: Jason Jung faces Frederico Coria in the men’s singles first round today, while in the women’s singles, Hsieh Su-wei is to take on Barbara Haas Novak Djokovic is to renew his love-hate relationship with Roland Garros in the knowledge that it is himself rather than seemingly unsettled 12-time champion Rafael Nadal who could pose the greatest threat to winning a second Paris title and 18th Grand Slam crown. The only man to beat Djokovic this year is Djokovic after the Serb’s hair-trigger temper prompted a sensational disqualification from the US Open. The 33-year-old arrives in the French capital with a 31-1 record this year after his New York brain-fade was followed by a record 36th Masters title in Rome. Djokovic’s 2016 triumph at Roland Garros allowed him to
Taiwan’s Jason Jung was knocked out of the first round of the French Open in straight sets on Sunday, while Andy Murray said it was going to be “difficult” for the former world No. 1 to reach his level of old after he also fell to a lopsided defeat by fellow three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka. Jung fell to a 7-5, 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/3) defeat to Argentina’s Federico Coria in 3 hours, 19 minutes at Roland Garros, despite hitting 55 winners. Jung served for both the first and second sets, then failed to convert two set points at 5-4 in
Michael Schumacher’s son Mick said that the prospect of Lewis Hamilton equaling the Ferrari great’s all-time record of 91 wins has given him something to aim for when he gets to Formula One. Hamilton, who replaced Michael Schumacher at Mercedes in 2013, can take his 91st victory in today’s Russian Grand Prix in Sochi — a race he has won four times previously. “One sentence my dad always used to say was: ‘Records are there to be broken.’ It’s everybody’s aim in this sport to do that,” Formula Two championship leader Mick Schumacher said on Friday. “I think Lewis had a very, very
Taiwan Steel on Sunday took sole possession of the top of the Taiwan Football Premier League standings for the first time this season after a 9-2 thrashing of Taipower in a title showdown in which man-of-the-match Marc Fenelus scored four goals and provided two assists. In a match billed as the season’s key battle between the league’s two leading teams, both on 36 points, Taipower’s players wilted under the pressure and got blown away by an outstanding display from Taiwan Steel, who cruised to their ninth consecutive victory. Taiwan Steel opened the scoring within five minutes in the rain in Taoyuan when