Buenos Aires, Aug 8 (IANS) Estudiantes de La Plata survived going a man down to beat reigning champions Gremio 2-1 in the first leg of their Copa Libertadores round of 16 tie here.
The Argentine side opened the scoring in the eighth minute on Tuesday through Francisco Apaolaza’s shot from distance which curled around the helpless Brazilian goalkeeper Marcelo Grohe into the far corner, reports EFE news agency.
By that point, the visitors had already squandered a pair of presentable opportunities, particularly Andre who squirmed a shot wide when clean through on goal.
Estudiantes doubled their lead in the 37th minute when Gastón Campi lost his marker at the near post from an inswinging corner and headed into the net.
Walter Kannemanngot a goal back for the Brazilian team with a header in the 43rd minute after Andujar had parried his initial effort.
The second half was a much tighter affair as Gremio failed to seriously trouble the Estudiantes shot stopper.
Fernando Zuqui earned a second yellow card in the 76th minute, leaving the home side with a man down for the game’s closing stages.
The Brazilian team were unable to make their superior possession and shots tally count, but return home for the second leg with an away goal.
The second leg of the tie will be played on August 28 at the Arena do Gremio in Porto Alegre.