Making its first appearance in a continental appearance in almost twenty years O’Higgins got its 2012 Copa Sudamericana campaign underway with a pulsating 3-3 draw with Paraguayan side Cerro Porteño.
Playing in front of their home fans O’Higgins got off the start they wanted with Richard Blanco firing home the opener in the tenth minute with a little help from the Cerro Porteño defence. The goal sparked the Paraguayans into action and fifteen minutes later they had their equaliser as the O’Higgins’ defence repaid the favour given to them by their opponents with some static defence allowing Carlos Bonet to fire home from the edge of the area. Much of the play for the remainder of the half was played in the middle of the pitch and the teams went into half time with the scores still locked at one apiece.
After the break the visitors came out very much on the front foot and thus spent much time in the half of their opponents. Fortunately for O’Higgins their goalkeeper and captain Luis Marín was in fine form to deny the Paraguayans. However, Marín could do little as former Universidad Católica player and squeeze of Larissa Riquelme, Jonathan Fabbro volleyed home from the edge of area in the 71st minute.
This goal sparked a frantic conclusion to the match as first O’Higgins drew level with a well taken Ramón Fernández free kick in the 78th minute before Cerro Porteño caught the O’Higgins defence napping with a free kick set play of their own seven minutes later with Walter López firing home from inside the area. However that wasn’t the end of it as O’Higgins equalised in the 90th minute as the Cerro Porteño defence were caught ball watching and Boris Sagredo headed goal ward before earlier Richard Blanco made certain of the goal.
The return leg will be played on the 8th August in Asunción.
O’Higgins 3-3 Cerro Porteño