Copa Libertadores Roundup, Apr 20
The last four berths in the final 16 of the Copa Libertadores were determined Wednesday with Cerro Porteno of Paraguay, Brazil’s Santos, America of Mexico and Fluminense of Brazil advancing from the group stage.
In Group 5, Santos had a 3-1 home win over Deportivo Tachira of Venezuela, while Cerro Porteno’s Jonathan Fabbro scored a 30-meter free kick in the 88th minute to complete a comeback from a two-goal deficit and win 3-2 at Colo Colo. Cerro Porteno and Santos finished on 11 points and Colo Colo on nine.
In Group 3, America drew 0-0 at Nacional and Brazil’s Fluminense won 4-2 at Argentinos Juniors in a game marred by fighting after the final whistle. America finished with 10 points and Fluminense and Nacional had eight and were tied on goal difference. Fluminense advanced by having scored more goals.
Colo Colo took a 2-0 lead through goals by Cristobal Jorquera and Esteban Paredes, but Cerro Porteno replied with goals by Fabbro in 43rd and Ivan Piris in the 48th before Fabbro’s late winner.
In Santos’ victory, Neymar scored after only four minutes and Jonathan made it 2-0 after 13. Gerson Chacon pulled a goal back for Deportivo Tachira in the 24th but Danilo restored the two goal advantage just three minutes later.
Fluminense took the lead in the 17th minute through Julio Cesar but Santiago Salcedo equalized for Argentinos Juniors in the 25th. Former Lyon striker Fred put the Brazilians back ahead in the 40th minute, only for Gustavo Oberman to again draw the hosts level in the 54th.
Rafael Moura scored for Fluminense in the 68th and Fred scored the vital goal in the 89th to make it 4-2 and bring the Rio de Janeiro team level with Nacional on goal difference but having scored nine goals compared to three.
Fighting broke out at the end of the match with a dozen players throwing punches and chasing each other around the field. CONMEBOL, the governing body of South American football, was expected to hand out suspensions and fines.
The 12 teams that had previously advanced were: defending champion Independiente of Brazil and Brazil clubs Gremio and Cruzeiro, Once Caldas and Junior of Colombia, Velez Sarsfield and Estudiantes of Argentina, Libertad of Paraguay, Universidad Catolica of Chile, Jaguares of Mexico, Liga de Quito of Ecuador and Penarol of Uruguay.
The pairings for the round of 16 are: Cruzeiro vs. Once Caldas, Libertad vs. Fluminense, Internacional vs. Penarol, Junior vs. Jaguares, Cerro Porteno vs. Estudiantes, Universidad Catolica vs. Gremio, Liga de Quito vs. Velez Sarsfield, America vs. Santos.