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 By Tim Vickery

Brazil's Copa Libertadores struggles can't be solved with just money

Gatito Fernandez
Goalkeeper Roberto 'Gatito' Fernandez was the hero as Botafogo edged past Olimpia on penalties.

Atletico Paranaense of Brazil fought their way into the group phase of the Copa Libertadores, beating Deportivo Capiata of Paraguay with a single goal, scored by the veteran former Argentina international Lucho Gonzalez on Wednesday.

At the same time, some 15 miles away in the Paraguayan capital of Asuncion, another Brazilian side were also getting the better of local opposition and booking their place in the group phase.

Botafogo of Rio needed a penalty shootout to get past Olimpia. Their hero...

 By Tim Vickery

Roque Santa Cruz makes final run at glory for Olimpia in Copa Libertadores

Roque Santa Cruz, left, scored the vital goal for Olimpia to keep them alive in the Copa Lib.

When the Champions League resumes this week, Roque Santa Cruz will not be part of it.

Indeed, during his 17 years in Europe, he didn't make the impact that Bayern Munich expected when they bought him as a 17-year-old in 1999. The hope then was that they were acquiring a candidate to be one of the world's greatest strikers. The talent was there; so was the work ethic and the intelligence. The problem was that his lanky frame proved unable to deal consistently with the demands of top level football...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Atletico Tucuman score Copa Libertadores upset using borrowed kits

Relive La Masia's tea time reunion, Pogba's emoji boots and one Orlando City fan's dedication in The Sweeper!
Fernando Zampedri scored as Atletico Tucuman used kits borrowed from the Argentina U20 side after they arrived at their Copa Libertadores match without their luggage.

Atletico Tucuman on Tuesday beat El Nacional of Ecuador, 1-0, in the return leg of the second round of Copa Libertadores on Tuesday despite being more than an hour-and-a-half late for the kickoff in Quito and wearing kits and boots borrowed from the Argentina under-20 team.

The Argentina side saw their flight delayed nearly three hours in Guayaquil because their chartered flight to Quito did not have clearance to fly with passengers.

After they boarded yet a second plane and the flight finally landed...

 By Tim Vickery

Atletico Tucuman's tumultuous Copa Libertadores journey

Atletico Tucuman
Atletico Tucuman are through to the next stage of the Copa Libertadores. But why are they wearing Argentina jerseys?

After waiting 115 years, Atletico Tucuman were late for the biggest game in the club's history.

From the northern provinces of Argentina, Tucuman are making their debut in the Copa Libertadores. A week ago, in front of their own fans in the first leg of the qualifying round, they drew 2-2 with El Nacional of Ecuador.

It was a disappointing result, putting a lot of pressure on the return game in Quito, 2,800 metres above sea level. The altitude is usually a problem for non-acclimated visitors, and...

 By Tim Vickery

Independiente del Valle seek to repeat history with Copa Libertadores magic

MEDELLIN, COLOMBIA - JULY 27: Players of Independiente del Valle pose for a tema photo prior a second leg final match between Atletico Nacional and Independiente del Valle as part of Copa Bridgestone Libertadores 2016 at Atanasio Girardot Stadium on July
Independiente del Valle, last year's Copa Libertadores runners-up, are striving to qualify for the competition again.

Could it really happen again? Might history really repeat itself?

A year ago, little Independiente del Valle of Ecuador looked down and out in the qualifying round of the Copa Libertadores, South America's Champions League. The last kick of their second-leg tie was a penalty to their opponents, Guarani of Paraguay. Up to take it stepped Hernan Rodrigo Lopez, a Uruguayan of undoubted pedigree.

Back in 2002, when Olimpia of Paraguay won the title, both their semifinal and final games went to shootouts....