RIO DE JANEIRO - Flamengo dashed the
Libertadores Cup hopes of fellow Brazilians Corinthians with an
away goals victory on Wednesday after their last-16 tie ended
2-2 on aggregate.
Holders Estudiantes beat San Luis of Mexico 3-1 to qualify
4-1 on aggregate and Cruzeiro, last year's runners-up, eased
through with a 3-0 away win over nine-man Nacional in
Montevideo for a 6-1 aggregate victory.
Nacional, overwhelmed by Cruzeiro, had 19-year-old central
defender Sebastian Coates sent off in the 53rd minute and
striker Gustavo Varela in the 69th.
Corinthians took a two-goal first half lead with a David
own goal and a Ronaldo header but failed to protect the
advantage and ultimately a 2-1 victory fell short for the club
looking to win the trophy for the first time in their centenary
Striker Vagner Love scored early in the second half for the
visitors to dash Corinthians' hopes and 1981 winners Flamengo
qualified on the basis of their 1-0 win in the first leg at the
Maracana in Rio de Janeiro last week.
"We had the benefit of the rules and got result we needed.
This is the tastiest defeat of my career," an elated Vagner
Love told reporters.
"We weren't paying attention at the start of the second
half. We fought, gave of our best and I think we deserved
better luck. As I see it Corinthians were better (than
Flamengo)," former Brazil striker Ronaldo said.
In Montevideo, Thiago Ribeiro, a hat-trick scorer for
Cruzeiro in the first leg against Nacional in Belo Horizonte
last week, set them on their way to victory again with a
29th-minute strike. Diego Renan and Gilberto added second-half
Cruzeiro will meet fellow Brazilians Sao Paulo in the
quarter-finals, while Flamengo are up against Universidad de
Chile or Alianza, whose second leg is on Thursday in Santiago
with the Chileans 1-0 ahead.
Estudiantes, for whom midfielder Leandro Benitez scored
twice, could meet fellow Argentines Banfield in the
quarter-finals unless Brazil's Internacional recover from a 3-1
deficit when the teams clash in Porto Alegre on Thursday.
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