Friday, 22 October 2010

All Four Série A Sides Advance in Copa Sul-Americana

It was a fabulous midweek for the Brazilian clubs in the Copa Sul-Americana, all four of which managed to advance to the quarter final stage. Due to the nature of the competition (all Série A sides are kept in one half of the draw), the results guarantee the presence of a Brazilian club in the final.

In a game disrupted by a power cut at the Arena Bareuri, Palmeiras brushed aside Universitario de Sucre. Kléber headed the Verdão ahead from Gabriel Silva's fine cross, before Luan powered home a second in similar style. Sucre briefly rallied, and pulled one back through Damián Cirillo, but Danilo's close range header sealed a 4-1 aggregate victory for Luiz Felipe Scolari's men. Palmeiras will now face Atlético Mineiro, who went through on aggregate despite losing 1-0 to Santa Fé at altitude in Bogotá. Félix Noguera gave the Colombians hope with a snapshot from distance, but the Galo held on to progress.

Palmeiras players keep warm under the faltering Arena Barueri floodlights.

Goiás endured a nervy finale to sneak past Uruguayan giants Peñarol at the Centenário. Rafael Moura continued his fine goalscoring form, putting the Esmeraldino ahead with a brilliantly taken effort, but Matías Corujo pounced on Harlei's fumble to level the tie. Goiás were rocking, and would go into the half-time break 2-1 down due to Marcelo Sosa's glorious drive. The Serra Dourada club were restricted to counter attacks in the second period, but grabbed an invaluable second when Carlos Alberto outran the Peñarol defence to slot home. Alejandro Martinuccio set up a frantic final five minutes with a curling finish, but the hosts could not find the goal that would have sent them through.

One down on the night thanks to Joao Rojas' early goal, and 3-1 down on aggregate, one would have put money on Avaí to succumb to Emelec at the Ressacada. The Florianópolis side, however, produced an amazing ten-minute goal rush to shock their Equadorian opponents, and advance to the quarter finals. Roberto got the comeback underway, nodding home Caio's tempting cross, before Avaí found a lovely second. Caio's slide rule pass was met by Roberto, who was unlucky to see his instinctive finish come back off the post. Thankfully for the Leão da Ilha, Eltinho was on hand to turn home the loose ball. Within minutes, the Avaí fans were sent into raptures; centre-back Émerson leapt highest to flick past Elizaga in the Emelec goal.

Results (aggregate scores); Palmeiras 3-1 Universitario de Sucre (4-1), Santa Fé 1-0 Atlético Mineiro (1-2), Peñarol 3-2 Goiás (3-3, Goiás progress on away goals), Avaí 3-1 Emelec (4-3).

(Photo credit; AFP.)

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