Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

Copa Libertadores: Round of 16 Review (+video)

Posted in South America Football by peterbein on May 7, 2010

The Copa Libertadores has concluded its round of 16 stage and “Stoppage Time – International Football Blog” highlights the events of a compelling and, at times, controversial first knockout round:

The first games were completed on Tuesday night and there was one upset and one near upset as big boys from Argentina and Brazil struggled against teams from Mexico and Peru respectively. Vélez Sársfield, whose only Libertadores triumph came in 1994, were expected to go through against Mexican team Chivas especially as the Guadalajara based side were resting players ahead of a crucial Mexican championship match. Sadly for Vélez their opponents hadn’t read the script as Chivas won the first leg in Guadalajara by three goals to nil thanks to a brace from Omar Bravo and a penalty kick from Héctor Reynoso struck in second-half stoppage time. This spot kick proved to be the difference between the two sides as the Argentines pulled two goals back in the return fixture but could not equalize late on. Penalties were also crucial in deciding the match between three-time champions São Paulo FC and Peruvians Universitario Lima who were unable to score a goal between them over two games so had to decide the fixture in a shoot-out. São Paulo missed their first spot kick but converted the rest of their four attempts whilst Universitario reversed that pattern to lose the shoot-out 3-1. Watch the shoot-out here:

The all-Brazilian clash between Flamengo and Corinthians was arguably the most anticipated tie of the round when the draw was made. Flamengo, who won their sixth Brazilian championship last season, haven’t won the Libertadores since their sole triumph back in 1981 but their opponents Corinthians were hoping to win the big one for the first time in their centenary year, hence bringing players of the calibre of Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos back to their homeland. However Flamengo had a couple of quality strikers of their own in Adriano and Vágner Love, the latter’s second leg goal proving crucial. After Adriano had given Flamengo a 1-0 home win in the first leg O Mengão travelled to São Paulo for the return and were behind after 28 minutes thanks to a David own goal. Corinthians then took the lead overall in the tie when Ronaldo scored against his boyhood club six minutes before half-time. Flamengo were not to be denied and struck back just four minutes after the restart thanks to Vágner Love whose away goal proved the difference between the sides as the tie finished 2-2 on aggregate. Watch second leg match highlights here:

In Wednesday night’s other games defending Libertadores champions Estudiantes de La Plata eased through to the quarter-finals after wrapping up a 3-1 home victory against Mexican side San Luis who, along with Chivas Guadalajara, were invited back to the competition this year due to their forced withdrawal from last season’s tournament due to the swine flu epidemic. Leandro González, who scored the only goal in the first leg for Estudiantes, opened the scoring after just four minutes for the Argentines but Diego de la Torre replied for the visitors just three minutes later. The game was sealed in the second half with two goals in five minutes from Leandro Benítez giving Estudiantes a 4-1 aggregate victory. Brazilians Cruzeiro also eased their way through against three-times Libertadores winners Nacional of Montevideo with Thiago Rebeiro scoring four times in a 6-1 aggregate win for the Belo Horizonte side who will play against compatriots São Paulo in the next round.

On Thursday Brazilian success in the tournament continued with the progression of Internacional at the expense of Argentinian Apertura champions Banfield thanks to away goals. Inter were beaten 3-1 in the first leg but their away goal proved crucial once Alecsandro and Walter had given the Porto Alegre outift a 2-0 lead in the second leg. With the game tied 3-3 on aggregate the Brazilians just squeezed past El Taladro who were participating in only their third ever Libertadores. In Paraguay Club Libertad were involved in a struggle against 2008 champions Once Caldas from Colombia. Dayro Moreno gave the Colombians the lead after 55 minutes meaning that Club Libertad had to score twice without reply in order to go through. Roberto Gamarra stepped up to the occasion by converting a 73rd minute penalty and a last-gasp 89th minute winner to give the Paraguayans a 2-1 win on the night and on aggregate. The final match of the round was played in Chile and it turned out to be very controversial. One nil down from the first leg, Peruvians Alianza Lima were leading the second leg 2-1 on the night and going through on away goals when, a couple of minutes into stoppage time, Seymour’s shot gave Universidad de Chile a third goal of the tie to give the Chileans the advantage. However there appeared to be three players in an offside position but the linesman and the referee deemed the goal valid much to the annoyance of the Alianza players who surrounded the referee after the game, forcing the officials to be given a police escort from the field. Watch highlights here:

COPA LIBERTADORES QUARTER-FINAL DRAW

Universidad de Chile v Flamengo

São Paulo v Cruzeiro

Estudiantes de La Plata v Internacional

Club Libertad v Chivas Guadalajara

(1st Legs May 11-13; 2nd Leg May 18-20)

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