Cerro Porteño stormed out of the gates in Group E, winning each of their first four matches, including a pair of wins against presumptive group favorite Atlético Mineiro. Diego Churín struck late for a 1-0 win at the Mineirão to open the group stage, then the Paraguayans hammered Atlético 4-1 in Asunción in what was one of the most impressive displays by any side in the group stage.Fernando Jubero’s squad feature a balanced attack, with the aforementioned Churín and Nelso Haedo Valdez both providing goals in attack, while the veteran Victor Cáceres popped up for a pair of goals from his defensive midfielder position. After booking a spot in the Round of 16, Cerro Porteño suffered defeat at the hands of Venezuelan side Zamora before drawing 1-1 with Nacional of Uruguay to secure the top spot in the group. In Montevideo, one of the top young players in this year’s edition of the competition, fullback Santiago Arzamendia, showed just how talented he is with a fantastically struck free-kick:
The runners-up in Group F, San Lorenzo have struggled domestically under manager Jorge Almirón, the man who famously led Lanús to the 2017 Final. However in the Libertadores, San Lornezo have proven to be a difficult nut to crack, keeping a quartet of clean sheets in their opening four matches, enough to earn them 10 points and a spot in the knockout round. Though they suffered a pair of defeats to Junior and Palmeiras to close out the group stage, San Lorenzo showed that they will be a difficult challenge in any two-legged tie.
🔥⚽🇵🇾 Santiago Arzamendia showed his talent with this brilliant free-kick to put @CCP1912oficial in front.#CONMEBOLLibertadores pic.twitter.com/zWpUIsZXbt — CONMEBOL Libertadores (@TheLibertadores) May 8, 2019
Cerro Porteño have shown their ability to put the ball in the back of the net so far in this competition, but that ability will surely be tested by San Lorenzo in this tie. An early goal away from home could do wonders for the Paraguayan side, forcing San Lorenzo out of their preferred style of play. But if San Lorenzo can keep Cerro Porteño from scoring, they could pounce late on in either of the two legs, as they did against Junior in March, making this tie very interesting.
Cerro Porteño vs. San Lorenzo, Round of 16:
Leg 1: Wednesday July 24th, Buenos Aires, 19:15 (ARG) 22:15 (GMT)
Leg 2: Wednesday July 31st, Asunci´on, 18:15 (PAR) 22:15 (GMT)