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Copa Libertadores Review: Sao Paulo beat The Strongest to last 16 with draw

A 1-1 draw was enough for Sao Paulo to progress to the round of 16 in the Copa Libertadores ahead of The Strongest.

Only a point separated second-placed Sao Paulo and The Strongest heading into Thursday’s sixth and final Group 1 fixture.

And Sao Paulo pipped The Strongest to a spot in the knockout stages thanks to the stalemate in La Paz, Bolivia.

The Strongest made a dream start in front of their home fans at Estadio Hernando Siles, when Paraguayan midfielder Ernesto Cristaldo headed home a 29th-minute free-kick from inside the six-yard box.

But Sao Paulo hit back on the stroke of half-time, Jonathan Calleri rising highest to direct a header past goalkeeper Daniel Vaca.

The match ended on a fiery note after Sao Paulo keeper Denis was sent off in stoppage time for a second yellow card as tempers erupted, with Calleri also seeing red.

Sao Paulo will now meet Mexican side Toluca in the two-legged last-16 tie.

Defending champions River Plate advanced as group winners courtesy of their 4-3 victory over Trujillanos.

Former Argentina international Andres D’Alessandro – back at River for the first time since leaving for Europe in 2003 – scored a first-half brace to inspire the title holders in Buenos Aires.

Camilo Mayada and Lucas Alario struck in the second half to put River 4-1 up by the 71st minute after Maurice Cova pulled a goal back on the half-hour mark.

Quick-fire goals from Trujillanos pair Franklin Gonzalez and James Cabezas ensured a nervy finale but River held on.

Awaiting River in the round of 16 are Independiente del Valle.

Fri 22 Apr, 2016
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