Nacional vs Peñarol Report
An injury-time penalty kick from Alvaro Recoba gave Nacional a dramatic comeback victory over arch-rivals Penarol in the Uruguayan superclasico.
Nacional came from behind to defeat arch-rivals Penarol 2-1 in a dramatic Uruguayan superclasico match played in front of over 60,000 fans at the legendary Centenario stadium in Montevideo on Sunday.
Former Inter Milan playmaker Alvaro Recoba was the hero as it was his penalty kick that gave Nacional the three points in second half injury-time. With the win Nacional climbed above Penarol into second-place of the Apertura after 13 rounds, two points behind league leaders Danubio.
Penarol pushed to the attack immediately from the kick-off, and they almost went ahead when striker Maximiliano Perez brought the ball down in the area, made space for himself and shot on goal, but his effort was brilliantly saved by Nacional goalkeeper Rodrigo Munoz.
Moments later a left-sided corner kick from Brazilian attacker Pedro almost curled into the goal but Munoz stretched to push it over the crossbar.
Marcelo Gallardo, the coach of Nacional, brought Recoba and Gonzalo Bueno on in the second half, and their introductions added an extra dimension to the Nacional attack, as they looked extremely dangerous each time they pushed forward. Midfielder Matias Cabrera almost put them ahead, but his fine effort was pushed onto the right post by Penarol goalkeeper Fabian Carini, before going out for a corner kick.
Despite Nacional's pressure, in the 60th minute Penarol went in front when a right-sided cross from Sebastian Rosano fooled Munoz and ended up in the back of the net.
However, their joy lasted only three minutes, as Bueno drew Nacional level when he met a short Christian Nunez cross into the Penarol area with a powerful shot.
With the game tied, both teams went in search of a winning goal, in an evenly contested half that contained exciting soccer. Nacional and Penarol, alike, were in need of a victory in order to remain in contention for the Apertura title.
Jadson Viera reduced Nacional to ten-men in the 89th minute when he impeded a Penarol player when en route to goal. The proceeding free-kick from Pedro hit the wall.
In the 92nd minute Nacional broke on a swift counterattack down the left flank and when Bueno got into the area the ball caught the hand of Penarol substitute Adrian Gunino. Match referee Dario Ubriaco had no choice but to point to the spot.
Recoba stepped up to the spot and made no mistake, firing the ball into the centre of the goal to hand Nacional three vital points that keep them in the title race.
Uruguayan Apertura - Round 13 Results
Danubio 1 - 0 Cerro
Defensor Sporting 2 - 1 Bella Vista
El Tanque Sisley 1 - 1 River Plate
Montevideo Wanderers 3 - 1 Cerrito
Racing 1 - 3 Cerro Largo
Fenix 1 - 2 Liverpool
Nacional 2 - 1 Penarol
Rampla Juniors 4 - 0 Rentistas