BUENOS AIRES - Young Brazil duo Neymar
and Paulo Henrique Ganso combined to give Santos a 1-0 home win
over Mexico's America in the Libertadores Cup first knockout
round on Wednesday.
Fellow Brazilian side Cruzeiro, the South American title
favourites, beat Once Caldas 2-1 away in their first leg match
in the Colombian city of Manizales.
Wednesday's other matches ended in draws as four times
champions Estudiantes found the way to goal blocked by brilliant
goalkeeping from Diego Barreto and were held 0-0 by Cerro
Porteno in La Plata.
Colombian side Atletico Junior drew 1-1 away to Mexico's
Chiapas, whose equaliser was scored by Colombia striker Jackson
At Vila Belmiro, teenager Neymar slotted a square ball
between two defenders on the edge of the box and Ganso steered
it past the diving Francisco Ochoa into the bottom far corner in
the 38th minute.
America, who host next week's second leg at the Azteca in
Mexico City, had substitute Miguel Layun sent off for a second
booking in added time.
Cruzeiro striker Wallyson joined Cerro Porteno's Argentine
marksman Roberto Nanni as top scorers in the competition with
seven goals apiece when he put his side ahead 18 minutes from
The Brazilian side, twice champions and losing finalists to
Estudiantes in 2009, went further ahead through Paraguayan
substitute Jose Ortigoza with Caldas left back Luis Nunez
pulling one back with two minutes remaining.
In La Plata, Barreto, the reserve keeper in Paraguay's 2010
World Cup squad, made a string of good saves, not least when a
free-kick from Pablo Barrientos took a deflection and he managed
to shift his weight back and make a diving save.
Cerro Porteno had midfielder Rodrigo Burgos sent off four
minutes from time for a tackle from behind, his second booking.
"We had seven or eight chances... at least we didn't concede
a goal," Estudiantes winger Enzo Perez told Fox Sports.
"We used to be more effective, we'd have two chances and
score the goals," added Perez, whose team have not won in six
matches in the Argentine league and the Libertadores in the last
On Thursday, holders Internacional visit Penarol at the
Centenario in Montevideo and Brazilian champions Fluminense host
Paraguay's Libertad at the Engenhao in Rio de Janeiro.
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