Monday, 3 December 2007

Arsenal Shock America in First Leg of Copa Sudamericana Final

On Friday evening, Arsenal de Sarandi of Argentina defeated America of Mexico 3-2 away from home in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final.

The home side took the lead in the opening five minutes, when Federico Insua found Salvador Cabanas with a perfect cross that was duly dispatched by the Paraguayan striker.

Spurred on by their early goal, America took control of the match, with Insua himself wasting a good opportunity after seventeen minutes. However, Arsenal equalised against the run of play, when Anibal Matellan headed home from a Carlos Castiglione free-kick after half an hour.

Conceding seemed to shock America and this allowed Arsenal to wrestle back the momentum for the remainder of the first half, with Andres San Martin looking very impressive in the midfield.

America's Argentine coach Daniel Brailovsky obviously had stern words for his team at half time, because they came out fighting in the second half, causing a number of problems for a unsure looking Arsenal defence.

They got their reward after fifty three minutes when Alejandro Arguello fired an unstoppable drive past Mario Cuenca in the Arsenal goal to put them 2-1 up.

However, Arsenal were not finished yet and equalised just three minutes later through a Alejandro Gomez strike. Gomez was in again ten minutes later and duly slotted home to give the Argentine side a 3-2 lead.

Arsenal frustrated their opponents after taking the lead and despite having Castiglione sent off with twelve minutes remaining, were able to hold on for a massively important victory.

The second leg will be played this Wednesday, with Arsenal's three away goals meaning that America are likely to require a victory by two clear goals in order to win the competition.

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