By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Diego Souza scored a wonder strike to give Vasco da Gama a slender advantage in the first leg of their Copa Libertadores tie against Argentine outfit Lanús. The Carioca club won 2-1 at São Januário last night, with the return leg next Wednesday, May 9th.
But the fans left far from happy and as the final whistle blew booed coach Cristovão Borges. Frustration was vented at the side for not securing a greater advantage to take to Argentina; when Flamengo played Lanús at the Engenhão last month, the Rubro-Negro won 3-0.
After Vasco had opened a two goal advantage in the first half, they allowed Regueiro to peel one back for the Argentinians just after the hour mark. In next week’s second leg, a 1-0 win would be sufficient to see Lanús qualify on the away goals rule.
Alecsandro gave Vasco the lead on 25 minutes when he converted Eder Luis’ cross to send the fans into raptures. The goal emboldened the players and three minutes before the interval Diego Souza’s ingenuity to leave Braghieri behind and finish gave Vasco daylight.
Then Lanús raised the tempo in the second half and when Regueiro reduced the deficit, scoring from Valeri’s cross, the home side hit the panic button. Vasco regressed as the game progressed and it was only thanks to two wonderful saves from Fernando Prass in the dying minutes that Lanús didn’t leave São Januário with a share of the spoils.
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