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Copa Libertadores wrap: Gremio, Sao Paulo reach group stage

Gremio and Sao Paulo made it a prosperous day for Brazilian clubs in the Copa Libertadores, with contrasting victories on Wednesday.

Vanderlei Luxemburgo’s Gremio team won a penalty shootout 5-4 to dismiss Ecuadorian club LDU Quito, after their two-leg first-stage tie finished 1-1 on aggregate.

Gremio won the second leg 1-0 at Gremio Arena.

Former Manchester City playmaker Elano struck the only goal in regulation time on 62 minutes, which forced the tie into a shootout.

LDU Quito had the upper hand early in the shootout when Saimon missed Gremio’s second penalty, but it was all square at 2-2 when Neicer Reasco fluffed his effort.

And after five consecutive conversions – three to Gremio and two to Quito – the tension was too much for Eduardo Morante, who was unable to find the back of the net to spell the end of LDU Quito’s involvement in the competition.

Sao Paulo meanwhile gave up a three-goal lead in their second leg away to Bolivian side Bolivar, eventually losing the game 4-3, but comfortably advancing to the second round 8-4 on aggregate.

The Brazilians won their home leg 5-0, and when they went 3-0 up on 35 minutes at the Estadio Hernando Siles in La Paz, their progression was academical.

However, Bolivar salvaged some pride by fighting back to win the second leg, with braces to William Ferreira and Nelson Cabrera earning them four goals in the space of 37 minutes.

Sao Paulo will now enter Group 3, alongside Arsenal (Argentina), Atletico Mineiro (Brazil) and The Strongest (Bolivia), while Gremio are set to join Group 8, where they will take on Caracas (Venezeula), Fluminense (Brazil) and Huachipato (Chile).

The top two clubs from each of the eight groups progress to the final 16 of the continental club competition.

Thu 31 Jan, 2013
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