(GSM) – Thiago Ribeiro scored three times in the first half on Thursday night to lead Cruzeiro to a 3-1 win over Nacional of Montevideo in the first leg of a Copa Libertadores Round of 16 tie.
The striker opened the scoring on seven minutes when he broke through the Nacional defense to put a shot past Rodrigo Múñoz, and he doubled the score 15 minutes later.
It was 3-0 in the 42nd minute when Ribeiro bagged his third, leaving Nacional down in the dumps after a poor opening half.
But there was hope still for Nacional in the 51st minute when Mario Regueiro scored what could be a crucial away goal, reducing the deficit to 3-1.
That would be all the scoring, and there will still be a little doubt when the two sides meet again in a week for the second leg in Uruguay.