With the Copa Libertadores now in the semi-finals, the only hope was that all eight places would not be fully filled by the Brazilian and Argentine clubs.
In the first leg of last week, Paraguay’s Libertad lost 2-1 to Brazil’s Atletico Paranas. So when Roque Santa Cruz, a few months before his 41st birthday, danced through the Brazilian defense to equalize the score with the best singles, the 2022 Libertadores was an opportunity not to be a special asset for the big two leagues on the continent. .
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It all seemed ready for a penalty shoot-out. But Brazil’s strength eventually paid off. Romulo stepped off the bench to score a crucial goal in the final seconds and Athletico continued to advance.
Elsewhere, Ecuador’s Amelek performed better than expected against Brazilian League and Cup winners Atletico Mineiro. After a 1-1 draw in Guayaquil, some gave Amelek high hopes of catching Atletico in Belo Horizonte. True, they never looked like scoring, but they quickly defended, closing the gap and blocking the link between playwright Nacho Fernandez and center-forward Hulk.
Atletico lacked winger Admir, who scored in the first leg, and all his efforts were making it difficult for them to fall behind Ecuador’s defense. The shootout was a matter of concern when Atletico scored the decisive goal on the strength of luck. Defender Eddie Guevara was showing a friend position. Eduardo Vargas blew the ball into his hands and the referee awarded a penalty. Hulk saved a spot kick last week, but made no mistake this time around and in terms of quality but as expected Atletico Mineiro made it into the final eight.
Cerro Portio of Paraguay defeated defending champions Palmyra. 3-0 before the first leg, the Brazilian did it again – taking his time and then surgery to give the opposing team an 8-0 victory. Flamengo, last year’s runner-up, flies hotter and colder than Palmyra. He was 1-0 behind Colombia’s Tolima in the first leg last week. They were happy on the scoreline. But in front of their own fans, they remained unbeaten in the return match, with center-forward Pedro, an outside bet to go to the World Cup, scoring four runs and the others suffered a memorable 7-1 defeat.
With the rest of the continent out of contention, the semi-final balance between Brazil and Argentina was the issue. Will there be four teams each? Or maybe Brazil 6-2?
They became five three. During the competition, Estudian indicated that he could be Argentina’s strongest contender, and he strengthened his impression with a convincing victory over Brazilian newcomer Fortaleza, whose campaign was fun but ended tragically. After a 1-1 draw in the first leg, Brazil had everything to play.
But the biggest comeback match in Fortaleza’s history turned out to be overwhelming. The team was emotionally out of their room and probably had to face a red card. The students were good from the first whistle to the end and could have won by a margin of 3-0.
The second match between Brazil and Argentina was very tense – so tense that neither goal was scored and the Corinthians came in a penalty shootout and knocked out Boca Juniors – who left the team after playing with coach Sebastian Bataglia. , After a two-goal draw against rival Brazil a year ago, Boka was placed in the penalty drawer at the same stage. At the time, he was a little better than Atletico Mineiro and he blamed VAR. This time he was far superior to the Corinthians, but he had to blame only himself – or one of his own heroes.
The Corinthians created plenty of chances at home and did not hit a single shot in Buenos Aires as the team was weakened by injuries. Boca had a chance but center-forward Dario Benedetto blew them away. Boka was awarded a penalty in the second leg – Benedetto fired at the post. And then there was a shot at redemption in the shoot-out. He came forward for Boka’s fifth penalty. If Boka had scored, Boka would have won. It goes to the top corner but, the vein is broken, calibrated too wrong and the ball goes over the bar.
Boca keeper Augustine Rossi got his hands on the next two penalties, but he couldn’t do it and after surprisingly low production, the Corinthians won it.
Argentina were guaranteed two teams in the semi-finals – and now one is guaranteed in the semi-finals, as the two winners of these domestic competitions will now meet each other. In the provincial battle, Cordoba’s Talleres beat Santa Fe’s Cologne 2-0 to win 3-1.
Colon was so frustrated, he rearranged his side around the folk hero Luis “Piogito” Rodriguez but he couldn’t find the rhythm. Talres qualified for his first semifinal.
And there was a setback in the second game, where River Plate could not correct a 1-0 defeat against Velez Sarsfield in the first leg. An instant movement from the start made Brian Romero stare at the post and left the impression that River would be awesome. But Julian Alvarez’s last game was not happy before he joined Manchester City. Discipline attacked Jamal, defending young Velez. Ezequiel Barco’s cross matched Matthias Suarez’s long post when Riviera felt right.
But after a long VAR delay, due to differences between the review team and match officials, the target was controversially rejected. On two legs, however, Velez’s victory was probably the right result and after a disappointing start to the tournament, he now has a great chance to reach the semi-finals.
For the river, however, the disappointment is huge. Since winning the trophy in 2018, they have fallen to rival Brazil in the first leg every year. Now he has already landed, this time for fellow Argentina – one of Marcelo Gallardo’s most frustrating moments of all time. Brazil have five teams left to fight for the title, including three Argentines – and Rivera and Boca are not among them.