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Libertadores Cup Quarterfinals Are All Set
Brazilians did well in the second stage
Gabriel Fuhrmann Tranquilli Barbosa (gabriel89)     Print Article 
Published 2009-05-19 13:32 (KST)   
Brazilian teams did well in the second stage and have qualified for the quarterfinals of the Libertadores Cup. Cruzeiro, Gremio, Palmeiras and Sao Paulo are in the final eight clubs. Sport is the only one left behind, but it was impossible to avoid one Brazilian out, as Sport confronted Palmeiras.

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As expected, the only highly charged match for a quarterfinals spot was between Palmeiras and Sport. In the first game, at Palestra Italia, Palmeiras won 1 - 0, one saving goal from Ortigoza. At Ilha do Retiro, Sport had to win at any cost. They tried everything to get to the goal, lost plenty of chances and created a hero, Marcos.

It was an inspired night for Marcos. He saved Palmeiras many times, but only once did he miss and Sport scored with five minutes left to the end of the match. That was it, and penalties would decide which of the teams would go to the quarterfinals.

Palmeiras fans saw a repeat of last year's disaster when Palmeiras missed the first penalty, but hope returned with Marcos' first save. From that moment on, Marcos wasn't just a goalkeeper, he was a wall in the goal. Two more penalty shots were stopped and Palmeiras qualified.

Watch the highlights of the match.

Sao Paulo itself didn't even have to sweat. Actually, the team hasn't played at all. With the H1N1 influenza A epidemic in Mexico, the CONMEBOL decided that Sao Paulo's adversary, Chivas Guadalajara, would not play its home match. In response to that decision, Chivas Guadalajara left the competition and Sao Paulo automatically qualified for the quarterfinals.

The matches of the quarterfinals for the Brazilians are: Palmeiras - Nacional-URU; Gremio - Caracas and the great match: Cruzeiro - Sao Paulo.

Sao Paulo is going through its worst dry spell since 2005, when it won the Libertadores and started the great campaign that would result, until now, in three national championships in a row and a 2005 FIFA World Club championship title. Despite the good run in the last three years, Sao Paulo was eliminated by Brazilian teams. In 2006 the team was in the great final, coming runner up when Internacional-RS triumphed. In 2007 Sao Paulo was in the second stage against Gremio and last year in the quarterfinals against Fluminense. Cruzeiro will certainly try to take advantage of those statistics in their upcoming match.

Let's see what will happen now in the Libertadores. Will we have three Brazilian teams in the semifinals? There is a chance of a Brazilian final again, though that situation hasn't happened since 2006 with Sao Paulo vs. Internacional.

©2009 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Gabriel Fuhrmann Tranquilli Barbosa

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