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Thursday, February 18, 2010
Banfield thrash Deportivo Cuenca as Universitario beat Lanus

Argentinian champions Banfield stormed to a 4-1 win over Deportivo Cuenca in Ecuador to consolidate their lead at the Copa Libertadores Group Six summit.

Banfield did not seem to suffer any adverse effects from playing at 2,500 metres above sea level as they became the first Argentinian team to score four goals away at Ecuadorian rivals in the continental competition.

Left-sided midfielder Walter Erviti put Banfield ahead with a long-range shot nine minutes before half-time.

Home goalkeeper Esteban Dreer kept out Ruben Ramirez's header from Erviti's corner two minutes later, but Sebastian Fernandez pounced on the rebound to make it 2-0.

Uruguay forward Fernandez extended the visitors' lead 16 minutes into the second half with a neat header after Dreer failed to catch a Roberto Battion shot.

James Rodriguez finished off a counter-attack to notch his team's fourth before Gabriel Mendez's penalty four minutes from time finally gave the Deportivo fans something to cheer.

Banfield defender Marcelo Bustamante was sent off in the 85th minute, but finishing a man down did not spoil Banfield boss Julio Falcioni's evening.

"It was a great result at a very difficult venue to win," he said. "The players played very intelligently."

Meanwhile in Peru, Universitario claimed a 2-0 victory over Lanus of Argentina, who remained winless after two games.

Piero Alva netted the winner after 18 minutes, eluding three defenders and firing home from just outside the area, before Gianfranco Labarthe sealed the triumph by heading home Rodolfo Espinoza's cross with two minutes remaining.

"It was a very important game for us and we took a positive result," Alva said. "We have achieved nothing yet, but two wins in two games makes us gain confidence and helps us prepare ourselves better."

Universitario are joint leaders of Group Four alongside Paraguay's Libertad, who thrashed Blooming of Bolivia 4-0 on Tuesday night. Both pace-setters have collected six points after two rounds.

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