Huachipato Stun Gremio in Copa Libertadores
Despite a poor start to the domestic competition, defending Chilean champions Huachipato gave Gremio a shock, winning 2-1 in Porto Alegre.
PORTO ALEGRE, BRAZIL — The absence of Manuel Villalobos and Cesár Cortés has seen the arceros struggle to adapt for the 2013 domestic season. After the poor showings on the local front, many predicted the campeon del sur may struggle to win a game in their group stage.
Proving those doubters wrong, Huachipato opened with an all out attack, surprising the Brazilians in their own territory. The attack was spearheaded by Federico Falcone and Braian Rodríguez, with each finding the back of the net during the game.
Gremio’s goal came from the penalty spot, with Hernán Barcos converting from the penalty spot. Barcos and Chilean Eduardo Vargas were competing head to head during the 2011 Copa Sudamericana for the top goalscorer award. Vargas scored a competition record 11 goals with Universidad de Chile, while Barcos netted 7 goals with runner-up LDU Quito.
Both players now find themselves side by side at Gremio after Vargas moved on loan from Napoli and Barcos transferred from Palmeiras.
The victory puts the Talcahuano team on top of their group, with the next challenge coming at home against Caracas on February 20. Huachipato will hope to continue the winning form in their first international competition since 1975.
While the Huachipato victory was a shock for many, Group 1 held the biggest surprise, with Boca Juniors falling at home to Mexican visitors Toluca. For the Chilean teams, Universidad de Chile opened with a victory, while Iquique were unable to take the points at home.