BUENOS AIRES - Striker Fred converted a
controversial last-minute penalty to give Fluminense a thrilling
4-2 win at Argentinos Juniors that put them into the last 16 of
the Libertadores Cup on goals scored on Wednesday.
Mexico's America qualified as Group Three winners with
Fluminense pipping Nacional, held 0-0 by the Mexicans in
Montevideo, into second place with equal goal difference but
having scored more. Had Fred not converted the penalty, Nacional
would have qualified on a better goals differential.
Paraguay's Cerro Porteno, with a brilliant performance from
midfielder Jonathan Fabbro, came from two goals down to beat
Colo Colo 3-2 in Santiago and win Group Five ahead of Santos,
second after a 3-1 home win over Venezuela's Deportivo Tachira.
On a night of thrilling football, the ugly side of South
America's premier club competition emerged at the Diego Armando
Maradona stadium in Buenos Aires in a free-for-all between the
Argentinos and Fluminense players after the final whistle.
Argentinos goalkeeper Nicolas Navarro, upset by the penalty
decision, was at the heart of the punches thrown between home
players and Brazilians exultant at their last-gasp qualification
having started the night bottom of the group.
"Nothing justifies the violence," Argentinos Juniors coach
Pedro Troglio told Fox Sports.
At the Centenario in Montevideo, Nacional thought they were
through by a difference of one goal only to learn of Fred's late
goal in Buenos Aires that eliminated them. Flu finished with a
goals tally of 9-9 to Nacional's 3-3.
Navarro had dashed out of his goal to clear with his foot
from defender Edinho, who went down with the referee pointing to
the spot. It was unclear from television replays whether Navarro
reached the ball first as he appeared to claim.
Left-back Julio Cesar put Fluminense ahead at the end of a
fine attacking move midway through a first half dominated by the
Paraguayan striker Santiago Salcedo equalised with a penalty
but former Brazil striker Fred restored Flu's lead with his
first goal, a bullet of a free kick from 33 metres shortly
Midfielder Gustavo Oberman hit another equaliser with a shot
that took a deflection early in the second half only for striker
Rafael Moura to put the Brazilian side ahead again from the
rebound after Navarro parried a shot.
Fabbro scored twice in a thriller at the Monumental in
Santiago in which midfielder Cristobal Jorquera and Chile
striker Esteban Paredes gave Colo Colo a two-goal start inside
Man-of-the-match Fabbro pulled a goal back just before
half-time with a looping right-footed shot from left into the top
far corner then had a hand in Porteno's equaliser four minutes
into the second half when he laid the ball off to the right for
right back Ivan Piris to blast a low shot into the net.
Fabbro scored the winner with a brilliant, curling free-kick
into the top corner in the 88th minute, ushering in a
nail-biting five-minute period of added time.
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