by Raphael Fantauzzi

Two lowlights from Wednesday’s match between Universitario de Sucre and
Palmeiras valid for Copa Sudamericana. The altitude and a bad field contributed
to the teams not developing good soccer. The hard marking and error after
error from both teams made the first half emotionless.

Because of the altitude, Palmeiras has adopted a strategy of waiting for ten
minutes after the kickoff. Sucre went on the attack early, focusing on the 18 yard box with mostly
crosses. But the strikers did not take advantage of Universitario’s chances.

Accurate when required, Marcos Assunção had a good start as the stopper and trying to
pass the ball to reach some opportunities on the counter-attack. The strategy worked
perfectly for 26 minutes after Kléber was fouled near the area. Marcos
Assunção again showed class and efficiency, placing the ball in the right side
of goalkeeper Lampe. Palmeiras had everything needed to play the game with more
tranquility with a 1-0 lead.

Despite the goal of the Brazilian team, the Bolivian team insited on crossings
and attacks on speed. The “Verdão” maintained the posture of waiting for the
mistakes of the Bolivian squad and from counter-attacks. In the 35th minute of
the first half, the Chilean Valdivia (photo) felt a sharp pain in his left thigh. The player
who has been with the National team of Chile in the last World Cup had to be
replaced. Sadness for the Chilean, who saw his teammates enter the field with a
Chilean Flag and a range of greetings to the miners rescued in the desert of Atacama.

Valdivia of Brazil's Palmeiras (L) fights for the ball against Albarracin of Bolivia's Universitario during their soccer match for the Copa Sudamericana in Sucre, October 14, 2010. REUTERS/Gaston Brito (BOLIVIA - Tags: SPORT SOCCER)

Universitario wanted to get an advantage for the second leg, so they went on the
attack during the early second half. Coach Javier Vega put another striker on
the field. The change improved the Bolivian team.

If the highlight of the first half was Marcos Assunção, for the second time was
the goalkeeper Deola. With a mission to replace the idol Marcos (who is
injured), a champion player of the 2002 World Cup with Brazil, Deola showed
tranquility in his first international match.

He defended a free kick with force by Bejarano in the 12th minute. And also
an akward rebound by Cirillo. Deola still appeared on the 27th minute when he
flattened a free kick by Lee.

The University of Sucre continued to pressure in the closing minutes, but was
unsuccessful. Game over at Bolivia and the Brazilian team came out ahead in the first leg.

“I had no problems with altitude, because I prepared well. I Had a sequence that left me breathless, but it was okay. My greatest difficulty was with the field, which was very irregular near the box. “-
said the Palmeiras goalkeeper Deola to the television channel Sportv.