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Copa Libertadores wrap: Pena stars for Caracas

Louis Angelo Pena has had a day out as Venezuelan club Caracas triumphed 3-1 away to Chile’s Huachipato in the Copa Libertadores.

Louis Angelo Pena has had a day out as Venezuelan club Caracas triumphed 3-1 away to Chile’s Huachipato in the Copa Libertadores.

The 23-year-old attacking midfielder set up Caracas’ first goal and scored the other two as they moved into second position in Group 8 just behind Brazil’s Gremio, who also picked up a big win away from home, thumping Fluminense 3-0.

Caracas played very direct football throughout Wednesday’s game exemplified by their 13th-minute opening goal as Pena hit a long aerial pass, which bounced over Huachipato defender Claudio Munoz to Dani Cure, who smashed the ball into the bottom corner of the net from the edge of the area.

Cure set up Pena in first-half injury time to double the visitors’ lead after a thumping kick from Caracas goalkeeper Alain Baroja.

The Caracas gloveman launched the ball into his team’s attacking half and Cure again took advantage of poor Huachipato defending to shoot.

Huachipato goalkeeper Nery Veloso made a fine save but Cure reclaimed possession and cut the ball back to Pena, who fired home from the top of the box.

Pena effectively wrapped up his team’s victory in the 54th minute with a stunning strike from outside the penalty area that looped over Veloso’s head.

Huachipato scored in the 64th minute through Miguel Aceval but it made little difference as Caracas claimed their first victory of the Copa Libertadores group stage.

In Rio de Janeiro, Gremio took the three points back to southern Brazilian city Porto Alegre with a dominant win over Fluminense.

Gremio took the lead in the first half thanks to an own goal from Fluminense defender Bruno Vieira.

The visitors had some luck to make it 2-0 in the 55th minute as Andre Santos appeared to be offside before poking the ball home after Hernan Barcos’ strike was saved.

But there was no doubt about Gremio’s third goal in the 69th minute as Eduardo Vargas ran onto Barcos’ through-ball and finished from a tight angle.

Gremio’s win means all four clubs in Group 8 are on three points with the Porto Alegre-based club on top due to goal difference.

In other Copa Libertadores results, Velez Sarsfield defeated Deportes Iquique 3-0 and San Jose fought back to secure a 1-1 draw against Corinthians.

Thu 21 February, 2013
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