Copa Sudamericana: Newell’s saved their unbeaten record in the last play

On the last ball of the match, Newell’s saved their unbeaten record in the Copa Sudamericana. With a Chilean goal from the Uruguayan Armando Mendez in the seventh minute of stoppage, equaled 1-1 at home against Audax Italiano de Chile and closed a very good campaign: they added 16 points out of 18 possible in group D (they had won their previous five games), and will be one of the two best first in the order of the round of 16 that will be drawn next Wednesday at the Conmebol headquarters in Asunción del Paraguay. The Chileans were classified second with 11 units and must be eliminated with one of the third places in the Libertadores group stage.

Since he had already secured first place, coach Gabriel Heinze didn’t want to take chances and arranged a wide rotation for Newell’s who came out with a very alternative lineup, made up of a large majority of substitutes. But the move did not work out and just 5 minutes into the game he was already losing: Gonzalo Sosa put a ball behind the Rosario central defenders and left-back Cereceda, coming in diagonally, eluded goalkeeper Barlasina and scored from an open goal.

Later, the local team had a hard time generating play. The juniors Sotelo and Montenegro could not establish themselves in the middle, Pérez Tica and Giani did not provide danger on the flanks either and the Ecuadorian Reasco was out of adjustment in the definition. The Chileans handled the ball well, supported by ex-Racing Marcelo Díaz in the midfield and they could even have increased the difference. But Barlasina sent a half turn from Sosa to the corner.

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There was a reaction from Newell’s about the end of the first half that brought it closer to a tie. But In the second stage and despite the entry of four starters (Martino, Iván Gómez, Aguirre and Sordo) and Pablo Pérez, he did not drop an attack idea, just pushed. Stopped against, Audax Italiano maintained the difference and once again had the clearest situations.

At the end, even, a break from Riveros and his cross shot ended up going near the left post. The referee added two minutes of discount to the five that he had given due to the delays of the Chileans. And on the last ball, Mansilla headed in a corner that came from the right and Méndez from Chile scored the equalizer and saved Newell’s undefeated cupbearer.

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