Copa Libertadores Quarters

Heartbreak gave way to chaos in Buenos Aires after Estudiantes was eliminated from the competition by a late away goal from Brazilian club Internacional de Porto Alegre. The intensity of the match spilled over after the final whistle, sparked by a bizarre confrontation. Inter will meet fellow Brazilian club Sao Paolo next, who defeated Cruzeiro easily and in style to claim the tournament front-runner status.

Everything went well for Estudiantes for most of the match. After blitzing ahead in a span of three minutes and taking a 2-0 lead into halftime, Inter took a step back in the final 20 minutes and eventually the strategy proved costly for the experienced club from La Plata. Inter substitute Giuliano’s goal in the 89th minute shocked the Argentine contingent and left them too little time to redress the situation. Amidst Inter celebrations, just as the Estudiantes crowd started coming to terms with another late, dramatic setback, a chaotic scene engulfed the pitch.

Apparently the episode was sparked by an ill tempered exchange between Estudiantes defender DeSabato and Inter’s current Argentine goal-keeper, former Boca idol Pato Abbondanzieri. The two exchanged words and pushes, seemingly heading for a brawl. Just as they were separated, Inter’s reserve keeper Laro ran by and swiped DeSabato’s side of the face, causing mayhem all over the pitch and all the way into the dressing room.

Incidents marred the end of the Estudiantes – Internacional match.

It was another sad night for Estudiantes, last year’s world club runner-up, having lost the Clausura to Argentinos Juniors at the very end of the season. Estudiantes leading goalscorer Mauro Boselli was held on the night and at the end of the match Veron acknowledged falling just short in the final act of a long season.

In Santiago, Brazilian club Flamengo paid a steep price for the catastrophic home loss in Rio one week ago. Like Estudiantes, the Brazilians exited the competition on away goals despite beating Universidad de Chile by the same 2-1 score. Flamengo finished the match with nine men after an ill-tempered finale, Williams and Wagner Love the culprits. For their achievement, U de Chile will meet Mexican club Chivas de Guadalajara, who survived a severe scare in Paraguay. Libertad nearly overturned a 0-3 deficit but came up just short winning 2-0 in Asuncion. Chivas is Mexico’s most popular club and this year’s surprise contender.