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Thursday, 10 November 2011

Dedé Fires Vasco Into Sul-Americana Semis

Oh Vasco, you temptress. Getting thrashed against Aurora and then racking up eight second leg goals to progress to the Copa Sul-Americana quarter finals. Putting in a limp performance against Universitario in Peru, convincing everyone that you didn't care. Going behind in the return fixture, taunting us further. You bloody tease.

Vasco da Gama 5-2 Universitario
Things started pretty well for Vasco at the São Januário; the hosts were awarded a penalty midway through the first half after Juninho Pernambucano was bundled over inside the penalty area. Diego Souza, a picture of calm, slotted home to reduce the aggregate deficit to just one goal. Some uncharacteristically poor goalkeeping from Fernando Prass, however, allowed Raúl Ruidíaz to put Universitario back in command, and when Jesús Rabanal struck just after the interval, Vasco looked all but doomed.

Vasco players lap up the applause following their unlikely comeback.

But the Rio side weren't done. Élton (John) scored within seconds of the restart, before La U 'keeper Luis Llontop allowed Dedé's speculative cross to sneak in at the near post ten minutes later. "If I was [Llontop's] friend," laughed Globo commentator Neto, brilliantly, "I wouldn't let him throw my kids in the air." Quite.

Dedé - who, recall, is a central defender - went on to stamp his mark even more firmly on proceedings. After brilliantly heading home Vasco's fourth, he turned provider, setting up Alecsandro's 81st minute strike. Predictably, that final coup de grâce prompted wild celebrations among the vascaínos present. The Rio club remain on course to complete a historic Copa do Brasil/Série A/Copa Sul-Americana treble.

Copa Sul-Americana result: Vasco 5-2 Universitario (5-4 on aggregate).

(Photo credit: Paulo Sergio.)

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