Flamengo resisted an onslaught in Sao Paolo to edge out Corinthians on the away goal and advance to the Copa Libertadores final eight, joining Libertad of Paraguay, Universidad de Chile, Chivas of Mexico, defending champion Estudiantes of Argentina and not less than three other Brazilian clubs, Sao Paolo, Cruzeiro and Internacional. Half of the last eight clubs in the competition are Brazilian, while only Estudiantes represents Argentina in a clear indication about the state of Argentine futbol.
Roberto Carlos, Ronaldo, Adriano, Wagner Love were all on display on Wednesday night in an electric atmosphere in Sao Paolo, as Flamengo traveled South with a 1-0 lead to take on Corinthians. The Paulista club controlled much of the tempo and deservedly went up 2-0 through goals from David and Ronaldo, but Wagner Love’s strike early in the second half provided a most dramatic ending with Corinthians attacking in waves and Flamengo resisting, always dangerous on the counter. It was a great display of quality futebol. Corinthians exited the tournament honorably, while Flamengo can be proud of a great performance.
In Santiago Universidad de Chile qualified in dramatic fashion with a controversial last minute equalizer and overall winner that culminated with twenty minutes of added time and the presence of riot police, after visiting Alianza from Lima protested vehemently the decisive goal, which was initially disallowed, then validated. U de Chile will take on Flamengo next.
Estudiantes got past San Luis and will take on International of Porto Alegre next in a highly anticipated match-up in the next round. Inter eliminated another Argentine club, Banfield, despite losing the first leg 3-1 in Buenos Aires. Ironically, another Argentine, Andres d’Alessandro, was the architect of both of Inter’s goals.
Chivas of Guadalajara eliminated Velez Sarsfield of Argentina and will take on Libertad, who got by Colombian club Once Caldas, next. The final quarterfinal of an all Brazilian affair, with Sao Paolo taking on Cruzeiro.