And then there were two. Palmeiras and Goiás knocked out fellow Brazilian sides Atlético-MG and Avaí to secure a semi-final showdown later this month. The winner of the clash between the Verdão and the Esmeraldino (a veritable green derby) will then face either Independiente or LDU in the final.
In front of 35,000 fans at the Pacaembu, Palmeiras comfortably overcame Atlético Mineiro. Despite seeing playmaker Jorge Valdivia limp off after just 15 minutes (the latest in a series of setbacks for the Chilean), Luiz Felipe Scolari's men took control of the tie, and went ahead through Marcos Assunção. The dead-ball expert has been in fine goalscoring form of late, but even he must have been delighted with this one; a gol olímpico, directly from a corner kick. Luan sealed the victory late in the second half, tucking away neatly after a swift Verdão break.
At Avaí's Ressacada ground, meanwhile, a single goal from Rafael Moura was enough to send Série A strugglers Goiás through. The big target man tapped home from close range on the stroke of half time, after the home defence failed to clear a corner. Avaí, despite their home advantage, looked sluggish throughout, and must now concentrate their efforts on beating the drop in the league.
Results; Palmeiras 2-0 Atlético-MG (3-1 on aggregate), Avaí 0-1 Goiás (2-3 on aggregate).
Photo credit; Tom Dib.