The 2013 Copa Libertadores kicked off last night with a few veterans turning back the clock to rescue a point for Nacional, in the most controversial fashion, after the Uruguayans found themselves 2-0 down to Barcelona of Ecuador.
Former Boca midfielder Damian Diaz fired Barcelona ahead with stunning volley after 17 minutes, before his fellow Argentinian double their lead just ten minutes later following some fine approach play from Geovanny Nazareno.
The hosts looked down and out at the break, but their fortunes saw a dramatic turnaround after coach Chavo Diaz turned to a couple of old timers, throwing on Alvaro Recoba and Sebastian Abreu. Recoba was in inspired form and it was his 70th minute corner that found Abreu unmarked at the back post to pull one back.
The visitors were left furious as a frantic final few minutes eventually saw Nacional save a point. When Diaz skipped through in injury, time the game looked up for los Tricolores, but Israel Damonte’s blatant trip was somehow overlooked be referee Enrique Osses. The Chilean referee has been heavily criticised in both Uruguay and Ecuador last night, with Barcelona coach Gustavo Costas labelling him a "clown". Just one minute later, Recoba won half a yard on his marker and sent in a pinpoint cross for another veteran, Ivan Alonso, to head a dramatic equaliser.
Elsewhere, Universidad de Chile got their campaign underway with a 2-0 victory over Deportivo Lara thanks to a double from Sebastian Ubilla, while Facundo ‘Chucky’ Ferreyra’s own goal condemned Valez to a 1-0 defeat against Emelec.
Results and Highlights
Nacional 2-2 Barcelona
Emelec 1-0 Velez
Universidad de Chile 2-0 Deportivo Lara