Brazilian pair Vasco da
Gama and Corinthians served up an ugly 0-0 draw in difficult
conditions in the first leg of their much-anticipated
Libertadores Cup quarter-final.
The other tie played on Wednesday also ended level as
exuberant Universidad de Chile, who came from a 4-1 first-leg
deficit to thrash Deportivo Quito 6-0 in the previous round,
drew 1-1 at Paraguay's Libertad.
Universidad de Chile finished with 10 men after substitute
Emilio Hernandez, who came on in the 80th minute, was dismissed
only nine minutes later for a bad tackle on Sergio Aquino.
Vasco and Brazilian champions Corinthians barely mustered a
scoring chance between them in driving rain and on a muddy pitch
in Rio de Janeiro's Sao Januario stadium.
Vasco's Alecsandro had the ball in the net in one of the few
openings but his second-half header was controversially
disallowed for offside.
The result left Corinthians, who are one of Brazil's biggest
clubs but have never won South America's top club competition,
as slight favourites for next week's second leg in Sao Paulo.
In the other tie, Victor Caceres gave Libertad, coached by
Argentine World Cup winner Jorge Burruchaga, a seventh-minute
lead at the Nicolas Leoz stadium in Asuncion.
Chilean champions Universidad de Chile, whose coach Jorge
Sampaoli has been heavily influenced by Athletic Bilbao's
Marcelo Bielsa, have been widely praised for their fluid
attacking game but this time, the match developed into another
However, the visitors levelled 10 minutes into the second
half with a deflected shot from Gustavo Lorenzetti.
The other ties, both Argentina-Brazil clashes, are on
Thursday in Buenos Aires with Boca Juniors hosting Fluminense
and Velez Sarsfield entertaining defending champions Santos.
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