Toluca Defeats San Lorenzo for Last Semifinal Spot

November 2, 2006

copa-sudamericana-logo.jpgToluca dramatically defeated San Lorenzo 2 – 0 on the night, 3 – 3 aggregate, to go through to the Copa Sudamericana Semifinals.

The away goal from last Wednesday’s match was all-important as San Lorenzo, who played so well last week, looked lethargic.

The match started well for the Argentine side as they came close twice in the first two minutes. But it would be nearly an hour of play before they would come close again as Toluca pressed forward looking for goals.

And the Mexican side wouldn’t take long to go up. In the 5th minute, goalkeeper Agustin Orion fumbled a hard drive by Bruno Marioni and Carlos Morales pounced on the loose ball and fired a rocket into the back of the net for the 1 – 0 lead.

As benign as San Lorenzo was offensively, their defense was strong and manager Oscar Ruggeri had to like his chances of making the Semifinals when his team were down only 1 – 0 at the half.

The break seemed to awaken the San Lorenzo offense and in the 50th, it looked as though they might book their place in the final four.

When Osmar Ferreyra couldn’t find any help at the top of the box, he wheeled 180 degrees back across the middle, left three defenders behind, and rifled a left-footed strike off the post.

But that was as close as the Argentine side would come to scoring.

Toluca took charge and began pressing forward, but the winner would not come.

And then, in an odd series of events in the 68th, San Lorenzo defender Jonathan Bottinelli fouled Sinha 30 yards from goal. Before Sinha could get up, Diego Rivero charged in kicking at the ball, still underneath Sinha.

The Toluca midfielder foolishly lashed out. When he kicked Rivero’s legs, he was shown a straight red, leaving the Mexican side down a man, still needing a goal.

In an ironic twist of fate, Vicente Sanchez stepped up for the free kick earned by Sinha and sent a brilliant cross into the box. Paulo Da Silva headed over keeper Orion and the home crowd erupted as Toluca was now just 21 minutes from the last four.

San Lorenzo went down to ten men as well just four minutes later. The open space and San Lorenzo’s desperation set up a thrilling finish as the action went end to end.

In the final five minutes it got nervy for the home side as they put all ten men behind the ball.

But by that time, San Lorenzo looked tired, and even though they kept the Mexican side pinned back, they couldn’t crack the Toluca defense.

After three tense minutes of extra time, Toluca celebrated a date in the Copa Sudamericana Semifinals as they join Atletico Paranaense, Pachuca, and their next opponents, Colo Colo.

Match Highlights Video 1:17 (new window)

Copa Sudamerican Quarterfinals
Pachuca Through to Copa Sudamericana Semifinals


One Response to “Toluca Defeats San Lorenzo for Last Semifinal Spot”

  1. […] Toluca Defeats San Lorenzo for Last Semifinal Spot […]

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