Wed, 28 Oct 2020

GUAYAQUIL, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Fiorentina loanee Pedro and Uruguayan midfielder Giorgian De Arrascaeta scored first-half goals as defending champions Flamengo beat Barcelona SC 2-1 in their Copa Libertadores Group A match in Ecuador on Tuesday.

The result in the Pacific port city of Guayaquil ended a tumultuous week for Flamengo in the Andean country. The Rio de Janeiro outfit crashed to a 5-0 defeat against Independiente del Valle in Quito last Thursday and then had 11 players - including seven regular starters - ruled out of Tuesday's match because of positive coronavirus tests.

If head coach Domenec Torrent didn't have enough obstacles to overcome, an eruption of ash from the Sangay volcano left his team unable to train on Sunday.

"I'm grateful for the effort of the players because it wasn't easy," Torrent told reporters after the clash at Estadio Monumental.

"It was very important to win our next match after the 5-0 defeat. The Copa Libertadores is not only about skill, it's also about heart. And the players showed that."

Flamengo went ahead in the sixth minute when Pedro slotted a cool finish past Argentinian goalkeeper Javier Burrai after a surging run and defence-splitting pass from Gerson.

Arrascaeta doubled the visitors lead by holding his ground while under pressure from Damian Diaz and then nonchalantly lofting a shot over Burrai that went in off the underside of the crossbar.

Leandro Martinez gave the hosts hope by combining with Cristian Colman and beating goalkeeper Cesar at his near post after some sloppy Flamengo defending.

But Flamengo defended stubbornly thereafter to secure their third win from four matches.

In other Copa Libertadores fixtures on Tuesday, Uruguay's Nacional won 3-1 at Estudiantes Merida, Bolivar drew 1-1 at Tigre, River Plate won 6-0 at Binacional, Junior Barranquilla secured a 4-1 home win over Independiente del Valle, and LDU Quito won 4-2 at home to Sao Paulo.

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