4 spots remain in Copa Libertadores knockout stage

BY foxsports • April 13, 2012

Twelve teams have reached the knockout stage of the Copa Libertadores, Latin America's top club tournament. The notable name missing is defending champion Santos of Brazil, which can book its place next week when four more teams will complete the field.

Santos needs only a draw on Thursday against The Stronger of Bolivia to guarantee a spot, and could even advance with a loss in its Group 1 match. The other team qualifying from the group is likely to be fellow Brazil side Internacional, which faces Juan Aurich of Peru. A victory will ensure a place for Internacional, and it could also get through with a lesser result.

Santos leads Group 1 with 10 points in five games, followed by Internacional (8), The Strongest (7) and Juan Aurich (3).

Another qualifier will come from Group 3 - either Bolivar of Bolivia or Universidad Catolica of Chile. They play each other on Tuesday. Bolivar can advance with only a draw. Universidad Catolica needs a victory to earn a place. Bolivar goes into the match with seven points. Universidad Catolica has six.

The final club will come from Group 7. Deportivo Quito and Defensor Sporting of Uruguay are favorites. Mexico club Guadalajara Chivas still has a mathematical chance, though distance chance.

Deportivo Quito faces Chivas on Tuesday and Defensor is against Velez Sarsfield of Argentina, which has already advanced. Deportivo has seven points with Defensor on six. Deportivo has the edge and could advance with any outcome, depending on Defensor's result. Defensor must win to have a chance of advancing.

The teams that have advanced are: Lanus, Emelec, Universidad Espanola, Fluminense, Boca Juniors, Libertad, Vasco da Gama, Corinthians, Cruz Azul, Velez Sarsfield, Atletico Nacional and Universidad de Chile.

Led by young Brazil star Neymar, Santos won last season's title against Uruguay side Penarol.

Argentina's Boca Juniors, which has won the title six times, is a strong contender in a field that has no clear favorite.

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