Two Brazilian sides made history tonight in Copa Libertadores.
Sport not only qualified for the round of 16 for the first time. It also did it in great fashion by reaching the first place in the group. Not only that. Tonight, the club from Recife visited LDU, the current tournament’s champs, and got a victory that for very long has not happened for Brazilian sides. Sport started losing with a goal with just 2 minutes. Sport did not give up and attacked until it reached the draw. Before the half hour mark, more drama. LDU had a questionable penalty and goalie Magrao denied it. 4 minutes later, the locals’ number 11 was ejected after hitting Durval. When morale seemed to have reached its lowest for the home team, Vera put them ahead of the game again.
In the second-half, Sport was better all the time. Luciano Henrique left the bench and improved things. On the 13th mark, Igor, the defender with more mistakes for Sport, tied. Sport pressured more and 19 minutes later got another goal through Igor. Sport qualified. LDU, current champs, eliminated at home in the group stage. Shame.
Shame was the thing that Palmeiras was trying to escape. The club headed by Luxemburgo needed a victory in Chile against Colo-Colo to avoid elimination in the group stage, something that does not happen since 1979. And for that, Palmeiras crowded the midfield and did not allow any creativity by the home team. And with counter-attacks, Palmeiras start to create chances and miss them. Keirrisson hit the post twice, making some fans to think that the night wasn’t theirs.
In the second-half, Luxembrugo sent William to the match in order to attack more. Colo-Colo grew and started to put pressure, which resulted in two yellows, and therefore a red card, to left-back Marcao. One man shorter and in need for a goal, Palmeiras seemed doomed to failure. But a historic night needs a historic goal. with 3 minutes left, Cleiton Xavier scored a brilliant goal, the most beautiful of any competition taking place in earth. A 30 meters shot. Palmeiras, along with the 4 other Brazilian sides is qualified.