Newell’s Old Boys 3
🏟️ Estadio Marcelo Bielsa, Rosario
With his job under threat, Germán Burgos entrusted in youth in the penultimate Copa Sudamericana group match against Palestino and it paid off on a wet night at the Estadio Marcelo Bielsa.
Nicolás Castro’s early goal was a just reward for a rapid start from Newell’s youthful starters. Patricio Acevedo, making his first professional start, rolled the ball from the right into the path of Castro on the edge of the box, whose low right-footed shot was accurate and direct, travelling straight into the bottom corner beyond a diving Toselli in the Palestino goal. Newell’s ahead after just 6 minutes.
La Lepra continued to play with energy, showing more attacking prowess than in previous games under Germán Burgos. Palestino offered little, resorting to off-target long-range efforts when they progressed into the Newell’s half. For Newell’s, Franco Negri was lively, making an impact on the left-wing where he seemed to be always available for a pass, but took a couple of knocks in the first-half and was substituted at the break for Matías Orihuela.
The second half started at speed for the away side, who made a triple substitution at the break, and Newell’s took a few minutes to snap back into match mode after coming out from the dressing rooms. That proved costly within a minute of the restart when Juan Sanchéz Sotelo netted the equaliser. Milton Leyendeker was easily shrugged off the ball down the left by substitute Bruno Barticciotto and his cross was well-met by the head of Sotelo. Alan Aguerre got a big hand to it but couldn’t keep it out and the away side were level.
Newell’s lost Cristian Lema for a second game in a row, although this time to injury, soon after the goal and Germán Burgos made the bold move of bringing on a forward – Alexís Rodríguez.
With Lema gone, the game became much more open with both teams pushing to go ahead at either end. The introduction of Fernando Belluschi after 65 minutes seemed to give the Newell’s attack more confidence and triggered a series of plays that would lead to La Lepra going ahead.
First, a leaping Jonatan Cristaldo headed onto the bar before Alexís Rodríguez’s follow up effort from close-range went just wide, when it really should have hit the net. A minute later, Newell’s were back in front with Cristaldo involved again. His clever pass evaded the Palestino defence and found the run of Ramiro Sordo who finished cooly beyond Trocelli for his first senior goal.
Palestino looked a beaten side at that stage but a speculative shot from Jimenez with ten minutes to go did scare Alan Aguerre who looked shaky at times in the Newell’s goal.
The game was put to bed with 5 minutes left when Palestino’s Cristian Suaréz headed a Fernando Belluschi corner into his own net.
There were a number of energetic and positive performances across the board, including goalscorers Nicolás Castro and Ramiro Sordo, but 18-year-old Patricio Acevedo at right wing-back was flawless in his first start for Newell’s and is a talent with a big future based on his performance on Thursday night.
If rumours are correct, Newell’s Old Boys final Copa Sudamericana group game against Atlético Goianiense will be Germán Burgos’ last game as manager but the win over Palestino has put them within a chance, albeit very slim, of still qualifying from the group if results go their way.
Palestino, whose goal against Newell’s was their first goal of the campaign, would need to beat table toppers Libertad, in a highly unlikely outcome.