What a campaign Columbus by Julius Caesar Falcioni in the Copa Libertadores so far. El Sabalero (10 points) lost in Montevideo this Wednesday night but finished first in his area, ahead of historical figures of the contest such as the three-time champion Olimpia (8 points) or the five-time champion Peñarol (7).

The cast from Santa Fe needed at least a draw in their visit to Peñarol to keep the leadership of their group, but Olimpia’s simultaneous victory over Cerro Porteño in the Paraguayan classic allowed them to keep the first place even losing. Also despite the fall, Cerro Porteño finished second (8 points but better goal difference than Olimpia, +1 against 0) and reached the round of 16.

In the Champion of the Century stadium, Colón took the lead in the 32nd minute with a goal from his jewel Facundo Farías. As soon as the second half started, midfielder Pablo Ceppelini tied it and, at 74 minutes, veteran defender Hernán Menosse gave the Uruguayans a 2-1 scoreline, who needed to win and a defeat by Olimpia to finish third in their group and get into the South American Cup.

The game was suspended for several minutes in the second half due to clashes in the stands between both partialities.

That’s the way it is, Colón closed the first phase with a perfect effectiveness at home (he won his three games by 2-1) and a point earned away from home (0-0 against Olimpia and defeats 3-1 in Cerro and today’s vs. Peñarol).

This is the third sabalera participation in the Libertadores. In the first, in 1998, they advanced to the quarterfinals, being eliminated by River. That team was led by “Profe” Córdoba and had Esteban Fuertes, Claudio Marini and Cristian Castillo among others. His second experience was in 2010, being eliminated in the previous phase, on penalties against the Catholic University of Chile.

Now Colón is waiting to find out his round of 16 rival when the raffle this friday.

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