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Santos earns hard-fought 3-2 win over Santa Fe

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  6 May 2017 12:00 AM GMT

Sao Paulo, May 5: Brazil's Santos eked out a 3-2 home win over Colombia's Santa Fe in the round-robin phase of the Copa Libertadores, South America's premier club football tourment.

With the victory on Thursday, Santos held on to its rrow lead in Group 2 over Bolivian side The Strongest and is the only Brazilian club still undefeated in this year's competition, reports Efe.

Santos, which can guarantee itself a berth in the tourment's knockout stage with one more win, opened the scoring with a goal by Ricardo Oliveira in just the third minute.

The hosts appeared to be in a strong position at that juncture, having only allowed one goal through their first three round-robin games and having played Santa Fe to a scoreless draw last month in Bogota.

But they needed to win the clash at Pacaembu Stadium here.

The 1-0 lead stood for a half hour, but that was followed by a flurry of action before halftime that included two Santa Fe goals - one by Johan Arango in the 33rd minute and another by Baldomero Perlaza in the 40th - and one by Santos' Vitor Bueno in 34th minute.

The Brazilians would have fallen to second place in Group 2 if the game had ended in a 2-2 draw because The Strongest routed Peru's Sporting Cristal 5-1 on Thursday in La Paz.

But with just over 10 minutes left before stoppage time, Perlaza got his head on a corner kick and the ball found an unmarked Lucas Verissimo in the area.

The central defender proceeded to volley his shot past goalkeeper Leandro Castellanos for what proved to be the game-winner.

Santos is seeking its fourth Copa Libertadores title, having won most recently in 2011. IANS

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