Cruzeiro beats Emelec 1-0, continues to lead group B of Copa Libertadores
Rodriguinho (2-R) of Cruzeiro scores during a match of group B of the Copa Libertadores, at the George Capwell stadium in Guayaquil, Ecuador, Apr. 3, 2019. EFE-EPA/MARCOS PIN
Wilmer Godoy (C) of Emelec vies for the ball with Henrique (R) of Cruzeiro during a match of group B of the Copa Libertadores, at the George Capwell stadium in Guayaquil, Ecuador, Apr. 3, 2019. EFE-EPA/MARCOS PIN
Joel Lopez Pissano (L) of Emelec vies for the ball against Marquinhos Gabriel (R) of Cruzeiro during a match of group B of the Copa Libertadores, at the George Capwell stadium in Guayaquil, Ecuador, Apr. 3, 2019. EFE-EPA/MARCOS PIN
Guayaquil, Ecuador, Apr 3 (efe-epa).- Brazil's Cruzeiro beat Ecuador's Emelec on Wednesday 1-0, achieving its third consecutive victory and leading Group B of the Copa Libertadores, where the Ecuadorians were now lagging seven points behind in the third position.
Cruzeiro's attacking midfielder Rodriguinho scored the match's sole goal in the first half, making it a near-perfect run so far for Cruzeiro in the continent's top tournament, as the Brazilians have all but bagged their ticket for the round of 16.
The Ecuadorians made an enormous effort to at least tie the match against the Brazilians, who attacked little but eventually secured the victory in the away game played in Guayaquil, Ecuador's second-biggest city.
Emelec made several attempts to score, although the shots either ended up in the hands of Cruzeiro's goalkeeper, Fabio, or went off the goal.
Rodriguinho kicked off the Brazilians' offensive game with a powerful shot in the 32nd minute, taking advantage of a header from Fred after a free kick from the right.
Cruzeiro thus took the lead, although Emelec continued to hold more ball possession.
While Cruzeiro kept up its consistently solid performance in the Libertadores, Emelec displayed all the shortcomings that have plagued the team since the final of the local tournament last December.
The desire to reach at least a tie led Emelec to strive with great momentum in the second half while Cruzeiro moved around more effortlessly.
Robinho missed a handball attempt that was diverted by Ecuador goalkeeper Esteban Dreer on one of the few occasions in which the Brazilian team managed to penetrate the opposite area.