When a Draw is not a Draw

Sometimes draws are victories, right? But sometimes they taste like losses.

Last night, Grêmio was the last Brazilian club to debut in the Copa Libertadores. The 83 and 95 champions played at home against Universidad from Chile. The fans were fantastic, chanting throughout the 90 minutes. But the same thing that happened to Sao Paulo last week took place in Porto Alegre: A visiting side happy to be suffocated in the defense. Universidad went to Brazil to get a draw. And they got it. Grêmio had volume to win by a 3 or 4 goal difference. The first 15 minutes were frantic. But as time passed, the ball refused to visit the net. It didn’t matter that Universidad had a player ejected in the second-half. The zero was not removed from the score board. And despite the great action displayed by Grêmio, Universidad was the victorious side for achieving its goal. Pinto, the visitor’s goalie, was the name of the match.

The other Brazilian side, Cruzeiro, played its second match in the tournament, this time visiting Deportivo Quito. Cruzeiro played better the first-half, which ended for the blue side with a 1-0 lead. Ramirez, the great midfielder which is national team material, scored. But Cruzeiro turned a match that seemed easy into a very complicated thing. With 3 minutes before half-time, Fabricio was ejected. With 20 minutes into the second-half, Wellington Paulista was ejected. Fighting two extra-players and the altitude of Quito, Cruzeiro did not resist and conceded a goal in the very last minute of the match. 1-1 that tasted bad. But this is Libertadores.