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Jobu laments the end of Nacional’s Copa Libertadores run.

Yep. The headline says it all. Nacional will not be advancing past the first round of knockouts, as they were eliminated by Peruvian squad Real Garcilaso (seen celebrating above) last Thursday, May 9 in Montevideo. It’s a tough loss, but you have to give it up to Garcilaso though. They pulled off the impressive upset. As far as Nacional goes, the sour taste will have to be used for motivation next time. Here’s how it went down…

Because Garcilaso had won 1-0 in Peru, Nacional needed to win this game by at least two goals to move on to the next round. They came out motivated, playing well in the first half, but just not managing to get many opportunities on goal. This can be attributed to Real Garcilaso’s tough midfield. They played a great game. They finally broke into the box score with a header from Gonzalo Bueno in the 55th minute (video below).

Nacional just didn't have enough firepower to move on. (Eurosport)
Nacional just didn’t have enough firepower to move on. (Eurosport)

Nacional soon upped the pressure by putting in former Inter Milan striker, and possibly the best long range shooter on the team, Álvaro “El Chino” Recoba and veteran forward Sebastían “El Loco” Abreu. These guys come so that the team can go “bombs away” from far and close. Abreu is deadliest on corners because of his height. Despite Recoba’s close call on a late free kick, Nacional could not notch the clinching goal.

The game ended 1-0 Nacional, which meant the two teams had to face off in penalty kicks. Things went awry pretty much right away for Nacional, as Recoba shot over the crossbar (maybe he was too close for his own good?). After Diego Arismendi did the same, it was all over. Garcilaso nailed all four of their kicks… Nacional was eliminated at home.

Nacional played a solid game, but just couldn’t finish. They definitely missed injured forward Iván Alonso, but Garcilaso outplayed them overall this time around. It’s a pretty impressive win for the Peruvian squad. They were formed only four years ago, and have now eliminated one of the more storied franchises in the tournament (Nacional owns three Copa Libertadores championships). It was definitely a sad finish for the Uruguayan squad, but sometimes you just tip your cap and move on.

The Highlights:

Featured image courtesy of: EFE

Martin Stezano

About Martin Stezano

Uruguayan born and American raised with a unique perspective on the domestic and international sports scenes. It will both tickle your funny bone and enlighten your mind. Love it or hate it...just read it.