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 By Tim Vickery

Guarani fairy tale continues after surviving Racing gut check

After taking down Racing, Paraguay's Guarani will now face Argentine giants River Plate in the Copa Libertadores semifinals.
After taking down Racing, Paraguay's Guarani will now face Argentine giants River Plate in the Copa Libertadores semifinals.

As the FIFA scandal rolls on, the mind-boggling sums alleged to have changed hands in bribes might be seen as a perverse tribute to the power of the game. The heart of the matter appears to lie in the transaction of TV rights and marketing. If companies can afford to pay out on the level stated and still make a profit, it is surely an indication that the product has a huge appeal.

Last Thursday night gave a hint as to why that might be the case. The final place was being filled in the semifinals...

 By PA Sport

Guarani draw with Racing Club and advance to Copa Libertadores semis

Paraguay's Guarani midfielder Marcelo Palau celebrates after the final whistle as his team advances in the Copa Libertadores.

Paraguay's Guarani drew 0-0 at Argentinian giants Racing Club on Thursday, securing a Copa Libertadores' semifinal in the process thanks to a 1-0 aggregate win.

Racing, the champions of Argentina, needed to score, and spent most of the first half creating and wasting chances.

A red card for keeper Sebastian Saja just before the break hamstrung them, though, even if replacement stopper Nelson Ibanez did keep out Julian Benitez's penalty.

After that Guarani dug in and progressed.

"This was the best...

 By Tim Vickery

Five Copa Libertadores matches you can't miss this week

Internacional needed a come-from-behind effort to beat Emelec when the two clubs met in Brazil.

Approaching a mini pause due to the upcoming international break, the Copa Libertadores has a big week coming up, with 28 of the 32 teams in action.

Some are playing their third of six group games, while most are playing their fourth. This is the time, then, when qualification for the knockout stage starts to be defined. There are some huge matches coming up in the next few days. These are the five to pay attention to.

Tuesday, Group 8

Sporting Cristal (Peru, 5 points) vs. Racing (Argentina, 6 points)

Last...

 By Tim Vickery

Gustavo Bou lights up early rounds of Copa Libertadores with plenty of goals

Gustavo Bou has made a potent and attention-grabbing start to this season's Copa Libertadores.

No one scored more than five goals in last year's Copa Libertadores, South America's Champions League. This year, after just two games, one player already has six.

Gustavo Bou of Argentina's Racing has started off the competition with back-to-back hat tricks, first away to Deportivo Tachira of Venezuela and then at home to Guarani of Paraguay. He could already have more, too; he rattled the post in Venezuela and mis-kicked his shot when clean through against the keeper on Tuesday night in Avellaneda,...

Rebuilt Racing wins Argentine league

In Diego Milito's first season back in Argentina the former Inter Milan star led Racing to the title.
In Diego Milito's first season back in Argentina the former Inter Milan star led Racing to the title.

BUENOS AIRES -- There was suffering, it's true. Because the 1-0 score against a tepid Godoy Cruz squad didn't look like a sure result once River Plate, in second place two points behind Racing at the start of Sunday and playing at the same time, took the lead against Quilmes.

But the anxiety didn't last long. Racing was immediately able to celebrate their long-sought title after a 13-year dry spell.

The final outcome of the match (an almost permanently subdued opponent) and the league (Diego...