Final matchday victories saw Sao Paulo, Atletico Mineiro and Internacional make it into the knockout rounds of the Copa Libertadores on Wednesday.
Sao Paulo booked a spot in the next round thanks to a 2-0 win over the nine-men of Corinthians, who were already assured of progression having topped Group Two, in a fiery all-Brazilian clash that saw three players sent off.
After Emerson Sheik was sent off in the 19th minute, Luis Fabiano made Sao Paulo’s numerical advantage count with the game’s opening goal 13 minutes later at the Estadio Cicero Pompeu de Toledo.
Luis Fabiano collected the ball at the back post and fired low past Corinthians goalkeeper Cassio.
Hosts Sao Paulo doubled their lead five minutes before half-time, when Michel Bastos unleashed a shot from distance that bobbled in front of Cassio and snuck into the bottom corner.
Both teams had players sent off in the second half, with Luis Fabiano and Corinthians substitute Stiven Mendoza given their marching orders by referee Sandro Ricci in the 55th minute.
Wednesday’s victory saw Sao Paulo (12) join Corinthians (13) in the next round, after the former finished five points clear of defending champions San Lorenzo, who conceded an 89th-minute goal as they lost 1-0 at home to lowly Danubio.
Mineiro also finished second to qualify for the knockout stages courtesy of a 2-0 triumph against Colo Colo in a thrilling finish to Group One.
Levir Culpi’s Mineiro (+1) were three points adrift of the qualification spots prior to kick-off but goals to Lucas Pratto and Rafael Carioca were enough to pip Chilean visitors Colo Colo (-1) to second place on goal difference after both teams finished level on nine points.
Santa Fe of Colombia won the group with 12 points following their routine 3-1 win over Mexican side Atlas.
Internacional finished Group Four as winners after edging The Strongest 1-0.
Valdivia’s 41st-minute strike proved to be the match winner as Inter (13) advanced, along with Emelec (10), who leapfrogged The Strongest by one point via a 2-0 win at home to Universidad Chile.
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