Latin America

Vasco, Corinthians settle for stalemate

Vasco da Gama players complain to referee Sandro Meira Ricci (L).
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Universidad de Chile earned a 1-1 draw at Paraguay's Libertad in the opening match of their Copa Libertadores quarterfinal Wednesday.

In Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian clubs Vasco da Gama and Corinthians played out a 0-0 draw in their first-leg matchup.

Playmaker Gustavo Lorenzetti scored the equalizer for Universidad de Chile with a long-range shot in the 56th minute. The ball deflected off a defender before hitting the net in the far corner.

Midfielder Victor Caceres opened the scoring for Libertad with a shot from inside the area in the eighth, sliding feet first to convert a low cross by Luciano Civelli.

Universidad de Chile won last year's Copa Sudamericana, the most important South American competition behind the Copa Libertadores.

The return leg of the quarterfinal is next Thursday in Chile and Universidad can advance with a 0-0 draw because it scored an away goal in Paraguay.

Vasco da Gama and Corinthians played cautiously under pouring rain at the Sao Januario stadium and will decide a place in the semifinals in next week's second leg in Sao Paulo.

Alecsandro scored with a header in the 71st, but the goal was disallowed because the Vasco striker was ruled offside.

It was a matchup between Brazil's most successful teams last year. Corinthians won the Brazilian league and Vasco captured the Brazilian Cup. Vasco also was runner-up to Corinthians in the Brazilian championship.

Corinthians is Brazil's second-most popular club behind Flamengo, and the Copa Libertadores is the only major competition it is yet to win. Among its titles is FIFA's inaugural Club World Cup in 2000.


Check out all the images from the Copa Libertadores.

Vasco is trying to win Latin America's most important club competition for the first time since 1998.

Juninho, a member of Brazil's squad in the 2006 World Cup, had one of Vasco's scoring chances late in the first half but couldn't get a shot off after clearing two defenders inside the area. Eder Luis also came close in the 51st with a low shot saved by Corinthians goalkeeper Cassio.

Corinthians threatened with a header by Jorge Henrique in the 60th, but Vasco goalkeeper Fernando Prass made a great save to keep the score even.

The other two quarterfinals will be played on Thursday: Velez Sarsfield of Argentina will host defending champion Santos of Brazil, while fellow Brazilian club Fluminense will play six-time champion Boca Juniors in Argentina.

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