BUENOS AIRES - Santos revived their
chances of reaching the last 16 in the Libertadores Cup with a
3-2 home win over Chile's Colo Colo in a tense Group Five match
with five red cards on Wednesday.
On a night of mixed fortunes for Brazilian sides, holders
Internacional lost 1-0 to Chiapas in Mexico and domestic league
champions Fluminense lost 2-0 to Nacional of Uruguay in
Montevideo and are bottom of Group Three with one match left.
Santos were down to nine men from the 55th minute and the
Chilean team down to 10. In the dying minutes one more man from
each side was sent off, Santos' Brazil midfielder Elano from the
bench after he had been substituted.
Group Five, after four rounds of matches, is led by
Paraguay's Cerro Porteno with eight points following a 2-0 away
win over Deportivo Tachira in Venezuela.
Colo Colo are second with six points and Santos third with
five after their first win. Tachira have two points.
Santos scored twice in less than two minutes just past the
half hour with an Elano free-kick and a fine goal from
Gifted Brazil teenager Neymar added a brilliant solo effort
early in the second half jinking into the box with superb close
control including a lob over a defender to chip past Colo Colo's
Uruguayan goalkeeper Juan Castillo.
But Neymar's celebration earned him a second booking and the
first red card of the match from Uruguayan referee Roberto
Silvera for donning a mask and parading it for the crowd.
Two minutes later a foul by Santos forward Ze Eduardo led to
him and Colo Colo's Uruguayan captain Andres Scotti being sent
off for squaring up to each other and sparking a brief
The tension rose as 10-man Colo Colo chased the game against
their nine-man rivals. The action went from end to end with the
Chileans pulling two goals back in a dramatic final eight
minutes with two fine strikes from left wing-back Patricio Jerez
and substitute Diego Rubio.
Following Elano's dismissal from the bench for reasons that
were not immediately clear, Colo Colo midfielder Cristobal
Jorquera was shown the red card in added-time for a foul as the
Libertadores Cup showed its two faces, brilliant play and
sometimes bad behaviour.
America of Mexico went top of Group Three when they came
from a goal down to beat Argentinos Juniors 2-1 at the Azteca.
America have nine points, two more than Argentinos and Nacional
with Fluminense bottom on five.
Striker Santiago Garcia scored both Nacional's goals in the
second half and their Argentine playmaker Marcelo Gallardo was
sent off five minutes from time for a second booking.
Internacional, champions in 2006 and last year, only needed
a draw to ensure they reached the last 16, but instead now face
a difficult final Group Six match at home to Emelec of Ecuador
in two weeks' time.
Inter have 10 points, one more than Chiapas. Emelec of
Ecuador are third with seven points and two games to play while
Bolivia's Wilstermann have lost their four games.
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