Adriano's Goal Can't Save Paranaense
Adriano's first goal for two years could not keep Atletico Paranaense in the Libertadores Cup on Tuesday as the Brazilian side went down 2-1 to The Strongest in the rarefied air of La Paz.
The former Inter Milan and Brazil striker, trying to revive his career at the Curitiba club, equalised in first half stoppage time after teammate Manoel's own goal had put the Bolivians ahead in the 38th minute.
A draw would have been enough to see Paranaense through to the last 16 but The Strongest settled the Group One match with midfielder Nelvin Soliz's 55th-minute winner to go through in second place behind Argentina's Velez Sarsfield.
"It's obvious we felt the difference playing at (high) altitude.
I myself didn't feel it much but other players did and it was key for the result," the 32-year-old Adriano told reporters at the Hernando Siles stadium.
"I'm sad for not having gone through but happy because the team did everything to (try) to qualify .
Now to try and have a good Brazilian championship," added the striker, who was nicknamed 'The Emperor'.
Velez, who had secured their berth with a match to spare, made it five wins out of six matches with a 1-0 home victory over bottom team Universitario of Peru in Buenos Aires.
A penalty save five minutes from time by goalkeeper Agustin Marchesin secured Argentina's Lanus a 0-0 draw at O'Higgins in Chile in Group Three and a place in the last 16.
Lanus finished second to Cerro Porteno of Paraguay, who won the group with a 3-2 home victory over Colombia's Deportivo Cali.