BUENOS AIRES, May 6 (Reuters) - Police were needed to
protect the match officials when Alianza Lima protested
vehemently against a late Universidad de Chile equaliser that
knocked the Peruvians out of the Libertadores Cup on Thursday.
Alianza were minutes away from qualification on the away
goals rule, leading 2-1 at the Monumental in Santiago having
lost the first leg at home in Lima 1-0 last week.
But a shot by Felipe Seymour two minutes into stoppage time
was deflected off a defender past Alianza goalkeeper George
Forsyth into the net to give The U a 2-2 draw and send them
through instead 3-2 on aggregate.
Alianza were incensed because the linesman signalled for
offside at first but after consultation with the referee Carlos
Verase the goal was allowed to stand. The Peruvians argued that
Chilean players in offside positions blocked Forsyth's vision,
a view backed up by video replays.
The visiting team's Argentine coach Gustavo Costas was
incensed while riot police formed a protective wall around the
match officials in the middle of the pitch as Alianza players
tried to argue with them.
Play was held up for more than a quarter of an hour before
the referee resumed the match, playing out the remaining two
minutes of stoppage time in a climate of hostility from the
Monumental crowd towards the visitors.
The only man sent off before play resumed was Costas when
the referee might have had grounds for more dismissals even if
the anger, pushing and shoving never boiled over into a
free-for-all. The home players keep out of the argument.
Alianza, the better team on the night, were unlucky not to
go through having scored twice through striker Jose Fernandez,
his second goal coming in the 86th minute.
The Peruvians were fortunate, though, with Fernandez's
first goal in the 25th minute, a header at the far post that
Universidad de Chile's keeper Miguel Pinto palmed away without
the ball appearing to have crossed the line but which the
linesman ruled had gone in.
Eduardo Vargas scored the first equaliser just past the
hour for the home side, who go on to meet Brazilian champions
Flamengo in the quarter-finals next week. The two sides met in
the group phase with the Chileans winning at home and drawing
Brazil's Internacional, South American champions in 2006,
beat Argentina's Banfield 2-0 to go through on the away goals
rule having lost the first leg 3-1 in Buenos Aires last week.
Inter now meet title holders Estudiantes, the only
remaining Argentine side in the competition.
Libertad of Paraguay came from a goal down to beat
Colombia's Once Caldas 2-1 in Asuncion with two goals from
substitute striker Roberto Gamarra to go through by the same
score on aggregate to meet Guadalajara of Mexico.
The other quarter-final is between Brazilian sides
Cruzeiro, and Sao Paulo, who both qualified on Wednesday.
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