Soccer-Five-times champions Penarol face early exit after defeat


Feb 19 (Reuters) - Five-times South American champions Penarol fear Libertadores Cup elimination in the group stage after a 2-0 home defeat by Mexico's Santos Laguna at the usually impregnable Centenario in Montevideo.

"It's super complicated (now)," said coach Jorge Fossati after his side were undone by goals from Santos full backs Jonathan Lacerda and Jose Abella in the Group Eight match on Tuesday night.

"That's five points lost. If we'd won (on Tuesday), the point in Venezuela would have been one gained, (but) today that's two points lost," he told reporters as he also reflected on last week's 1-1 draw at Deportivo Anzoategui.

Penarol are not the great team they were last century, when they lifted the crown three times in the 1960s and twice more in the 80s, but a home defeat by a guest team from Mexico in South America's top club competition is humiliating.

"We are going through times of tension, nervousness, anxiety for a result ... and that makes us fall into lack of precision," said Fossati, who took charge last month in a second spell at Penarol after steering them to the Uruguayan league title in 1996.

Fossati, a former Uruguay coach, led LDU Quito of Ecuador to victory in the Copa Sudamericana, the region's equivalent to the Europa League, in 2009 and Al-Sadd of Qatar to the Asian Champions League crown in 2011.

Santos lead the group with a maximum six points after they also beat Argentina's Arsenal 1-0 at home last week.

(Reporting by Rex Gowar, editing by Stephen Wood)

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