Colo Colo 2 - 1 Toluca, Copa Sudamericana Semifinal First Leg
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Friday, November 17, 2006

Colo Colo 2 - 1 Toluca, Copa Sudamericana Semifinal First Leg

Copa Sudamericana Semifinal
Colo Colo 2 - 1 Toluca

Goals with Match Announcer (new window)

Match Highlights Video (new window)

Toluca nearly found a way to stop the Colo Colo scoring machine on Thursday night in Santiago.

For the first ten minutes, the visitors' strategy of doing battle in the midfield was working.

But then Matias Fernandez seemed to figure out the plan and the Colo Colo midfielder simply tore through the Toluca midfield and defense.

In the 12th minute, Fernandez lost his marker in his own half, sprinted 25 yards, and split the heart of the Toluca defense with a brilliant 25-yard ball that rolled perfectly to Gonzalo Fierro just inside the area.

Fierro was cut down by Toluca keeper Hernan Cristante and Suazo converted the penalty for the 1- 0 lead.

The goal seemed to fire up both sides, with the home team having the better of it, but Toluca would be the next to score.

The Mexican side took full advantage of a defensive lapse which started with a poor clearance and finished with Bruno Marioni firing a speculative shot from the wing that deflected just inside the near post. Keeper Sebastian Cejas was left rooted to the spot and the match was even at 1 - 1.

For all the Colo Colo fire power, the Toluca defense was holding their own. Collapsing three and four players onto the ball, allowing no room for a free-flowing passing game.

Ironically, it was the defense that was serving so well that would have a momentary lapse in the 31st. Colo Colo's Fiero was there again to make them pay.

Running onto a poor backpass, the Colo Colo forward was tripped up in the box by Toluca defender Ariel Rosada, who had mistakenly gone to ground in an attempt to reach the errant pass.

Fernandez converted the spot kick and Colo Colo's one goal lead was restored.

Colo Colo seemed to press even harder, looking for a bigger cushion for next week's return leg, but the Toluca defense became even more stingy, giving even less space in the second half.

Emphasizing the Colo Colo commitment to scoring more goals, with thirty-five minutes to go, Colo Colo manager Claudio Borghi brought on forward Alexis Sanchez for midfielder Andres Gonzalez.

Sanchez' speed made an immediate impact as he dangerously crossed twice from the touchline within minutes.

It would also be Sanchez who would have Colo Colo's best scoring chance late on. On 76 minutes, his free kick from 30 yards was just palmed over by Cristante.

As the game wore on, Toluca looked more and more to counter with the long-ball as the home-side pushed forward.

The final five minutes, plus four added minutes, provided a frenzy as Colo Colo looked for one more goal to take on the road.

But the Toluca defense gallantly held on and Americo Gallego's side have to feel good going home for Tuesday's return leg showdown in Mexico.

Colo Colo will argue they have the better of it, needing only a draw to make it to the Finals.

Player of the Match: Matias Fernandez. The Colo Colo midfielder was brilliant all night. A one-man highlight reel, who at one point, was simply thrown to the ground by Toluca's Edgar Duenas, who seemed to tire of Fernandez' wonderful dribbling.

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