BUENOS AIRES - Kleber scored twice as
Cruzeiro crowned a good night for Brazilian teams in the
Libertadores Cup with a 3-0 win over Argentina's Velez
Sarsfield at the Mineirao in Belo Horizonte on Wednesday.
Internacional beat Uruguay's Cerro 2-0 to relieve the
pressure on coach Jorge Fossati and Sao Paulo drew 0-0 away to
Mexican champions Monterrey.
Cruzeiro, last year's runners-up, went top of Group Seven
with 10 points from five matches, the same as Velez but with
the better goal difference. Colo Colo are third with four
points from four games.
Man-of-the-match Thiago Ribeiro put twice South American
champions Cruzeiro ahead just past the half hour when he cut
inside from the left wing, beat three defenders on a mazy run
and swivelled to shoot home from the edge of the box.
Thiago then laid on two goals in six minutes at the start
of the second half for striker Kleber, who took his
tournament-leading tally to six and squashed any hopes Velez
had of fighting their way back into the match.
Kleber netted Thiago's first-time cross from the right in
the 48th minute then latched on to the winger's pass down the
middle and steered the ball past goalkeeper German Montoya.
Velez midfielder Leandro Somoza was sent off in the 82nd
minute for a second booking.
Argentina's Estudiantes, who won the title by beating
Cruzeiro in last year's final second leg at the same Mineirao
ground, kept on track for the knockout phase with a 2-0 away
win over Juan Aurich of Peru on Tuesday.
Internacional, title winners in 2006, bucked a string of
poor results that had Uruguayan coach Fossati under fire with a
win in Porto Alegre that put them top of Group Five, one point
ahead of Cerro after four matches.
The Uruguayans, having held Inter 0-0 at home two weeks
ago, were unlucky when they fell behind in the 58th minute to
an own goal by defender Walter Ibanez.
Goalkeeper Damian Frascarelli had a shot from the left by
Inter forward Walter covered but Ibanez stepped ahead of him to
clear and sliced the ball into the net.
Striker Alecsandro rammed home the second from the rebound
after Frascarelli could only parry man-of-the-match Giuliano's
spectacular scissors kick from the edge of the box 13 minutes
Fossati had said he would resign if Inter, who had gone six
matches without a win in the Gaucho state championship and
Libertadores, did not beat Cerro.
Three times champions Sao Paulo are top of Group Two, two
points ahead of Colombia's Once Caldas, who can take the lead
if they beat eliminated and point-less Nacional of Paraguay at
home on Thursday.
Monterrey are third two points further back.
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