Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

Copa Libertadores: Semi-Final Preview

Posted in South America Football by peterbein on July 26, 2010
Internacional v São Paulo

The 2006 Copa Libertadores final saw Internacional beat São Paulo. Will the same outcome occur in this year's semi-finals?

Following the exit of Estudiantes de La Plata from the competition at the quarter-final stage the Copa Libertadores will have a new champion this year. In the semi-finals there will be an all-Brazil affair ensuring that the country supplies a finalist in the tournament for the sixth consecutive year. In the other semi-final two surprise teams from Chile and Mexico will face off in the hope that they can go all the way to the final. Stoppage Time – International Football Blog previews both matches, which are played over two legs.

The first semi-final is an all-Brazilian contest which also happens to be a repeat of the 2006 Copa Libertadores final. On that occasion Internacional of Porto Alegre got the better of defending champions São Paulo winning 4-3 on aggregate and a similar result is what Inter will be after this time if they are to maintain hopes of winning the trophy for a second time. São Paulo, however, have much experience in this competition and are hoping to be triumphant in this tournament for a fourth time. A look at the Campeonato Brasileiro table at the moment shows Internacional going well in 4th place, five points behind leaders Corinthians whilst São Paulo are languishing in 15th place after an inconsistent start. However one shouldn’t take the Tricolor lightly as they have made a habit in recent years of starting slowly in the Brazilian championship in order to concentrate on South America’s biggest prize before ultimately improving at the business end of the domestic season to secure a top four finish and qualify for the following season’s Libertadores. São Paulo also have one of the top scorers in this year’s tournament in the form of Washington who has scored five times and who is determined to make up for the defeat he suffered with Fluminense at the hands of LDU Quito in the 2008 Copa Libertadores final.

The other semi-final features two teams never to have won the Copa Libertadores and are looking to make their own bit of club history by reaching the final of the competition for the very first time. Universidad de Chile have only reached the semi-final stage on two other occasions, the most recent being in 1996 when they went out to eventual winners River Plate. Their opponents Guadalajara were semi-finalists as recently as 2005 but they were defeated 5-2 on aggregate by Atlético Paranaense and have had limited success at international level, only winning a CONCACAF Champions’ Cup title as far back as 1962. In this year’s tournament Guadalajara didn’t have to compete in the group stage due to accepting an invitation to return to the competition after they were forced to withdraw from the 2009 tournament because of the outbreak of swine flu. Universidad got through their quarter-final tie against Brazilian giants Flamengo by defeating the Rubro-Negro on away goals while Guadalajara just got the better of Paraguayan team Libertad coming through with a 3-2 aggregate scoreline. Domestically Universidad de Chile are in good form at the moment lying in second place just two points behind Colo-Colo whilst Guadalajara’s first match in the 2010 Torneo Apertura finished in a goalless draw at home to Puebla FC.

COPA LIBERTADORES SEMI-FINALS 2010

1ST LEGS

Guadalajara v Universidad de Chile (27/07/10)

Internacional v São Paulo (28/07/10)

2ND LEGS

Universidad de Chile v Guadalajara (03/08/10)

São Paulo v Internacional (05/08/10)

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