Neymar and Ganso combined to give Santos a gritty 1-0 victory over an America side that played defensive football with 9 men behind the ball. In the 39th minute, Neymar raced down the left flank before finding Ganso just outside the box. Ganso kept his head down and dispatched a bullet of a left footed shot to the goalkeeper's left to give his side the lead and a crucial victory in the first leg. Playing in Sao Paulo, America's defensive tactics were intended to stifle the creativity of Neymar, Ganso and company but the strategy backfired and ultimately proved unsustainable. Nevertheless, a 1-0 victory for Santos means the match is still wide open, particularly given that the next leg will be played at the Queretaro Stadium on May 3. Santos can now claim four consecutive Copa Libertadores victories and are improving with every match, even though they struggled to break down America's ultra-defensive formation. Pele's former club will be tough to beat given the 4-2-2-2 formation that coach Muricy Ramalho favors, with Elano and Ganso positioned behind Neymar and Ze Eduardo.
In other Copa Libertadores news, Cruzeiro beat Once Caldas 2-1 thanks to goals by Wallyson and Ortigoza.