River Plate beats Defensor in Sudamericana
On his return to River Plate, Sebastian Abreu scored twice against his former club to lead it to a valuable 2-1 victory in front of more than 40,000 fans at the Centenario stadium in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Abreu put River ahead in the eighth minute when he reacted first to a loose ball in the area to slot home, to the delight of River coach Diego Simeone.
The Argentine giants, who currently languish in 17th place of their respective league, played the ball around nicely and didn't allow Defensor Sporting to play its normal game.
However, as the minutes ticked away the Uruguayans became more involved in the match and began to pile heavy pressure on the River goal.
After the break it was much of the same, as Jorge Da Silva's side dominated its opponents, and looked very dangerous when moving forward, particularly down both sets of flanks.
But River maintained its calm and, in the 64th minute, Abreu doubled its lead when he blasted in a rebound from Defensor goalkeeper Martin Silva.
In the 77th, Augusto Fernandez reduced River to 10 men, and Defensor tried to make the most of its numerical advantage, and pushed forward in large numbers.
Mario Risso scored a much deserved consolation goal for the Uruguayans four minutes before full time, and although they pressed for a late equalizer, they ran out of time.
Adriano rescued Internacional a late 1-1 draw with Universidad Catolica in the first leg of their Copa Sudamericana round-of-16 matchup in San Carlos de Apoquindo, Santiago.
The match began with a frantic pace, as Universidad Catolica tried to score an early goal that would settle some nerves.
Although it piled heavy pressure on the Brazilians, Catolica couldn't find a way to break through their rock-solid defense, and its desperation allowed the visitors to creep into the game.
Internacional, which has lifted its game in recent Brazilian league outings, began to inflict pressure on the Chileans towards the end of the half, but with little luck.
But Catolica stepped up a gear in the final few minutes, and was rewarded for its approach when Sebastian Barrientos put it ahead in the 43rd minute.
After the break, the Chileans tried their best to extend their advantage, but as the minutes went by, it was clear that they were up against a solid Internacional side that would make life extremely difficult for them.
During the half a large amount of smoke filled the air, and the ball was barely visible to onlookers, as the Brazilians came more and more into the match.
Inter seemed happy to lose the match only by one goal, but although it rarely threatened the Chilean goal, a swift counterattack led to Alex's brilliant winner five minutes before the final whistle.
Alex beat his marker with a sensational piece of class and fired the ball towards the inside of the left post.