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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr 19, 2012

Corinthians march into next round

Corinthians completed a successful Copa Libertadores group stage campaign by hammering 10-man Deportivo Tachira 6-0 in Sao Paulo.

The Brazilian giants were quickly on their way as Danilo headed in a Sheik free-kick on 17 minutes before Paulinho doubled the gap nine minutes later.

The Venezuelan side's task got even harder on 36 minutes when defender Andres Rouga was sent-off for a tackle on Danilo.

Corinthians took until the 62nd minute to make the man advantage count, when Jorge Henrique netted, before they powered away.

Emerson added a fourth on 70 minutes and two minutes later Liedson rode his luck to tap in after his initial penalty was saved by Tachira goalkeeper Roberts Rivas.

Douglas sealed a fourth win of a comfortable group stage for Corinthians with an 83rd-minute penalty.

"Corinthians become stronger and stronger thanks to the unity the team has," Liedson told reporters in Sao Paulo.

Corinthians finished top of Group Six on 14 points, three ahead of Cruz Azul who had also already qualified before they thumped Paraguay's Nacional 4-1.

The Mexican team took the lead in the 20th minute thanks to Javier Orozco and, even though Gustavo Cristaldo equalised on 43 minutes, Cruz Azul went into half-time 2-1 ahead after Maranhao scored seconds before the whistle.

Omar Bravo and Edixon Perea scored after the break to ensure victory.

Cruz Azul boss Enrique Meza said he was satisfied with second spot in the group, saying: "It is not what we expected in the beginning, but we deserve to be where we are. Corinthians is one of the best teams in the tournament."

Brazil's Fluminense finished the group stage with the best record of any team thanks to a 2-1 away win over Arsenal in Argentina.

A last-gasp Rafael Moura winner ensured Fluminense will have the chance to play the second leg of all their play-off ties at home in Rio de Janeiro.

Carlinhos beat Arsenal goalkeeper Cristian Campestrini to put 'O Flu' ahead in the 34th minute and Nicolas Aguirre equalised with only 10 minutes remaining. But with five minutes left Campestrini fouled Thiago Neves in the area and was sent off.

As Arsenal boss Gustavo Alfaro had already made the three substitutions, midfielder Diego Torres took the goalkeeper's gloves.

Torres briefly became a hero as he saved Neves' penalty, but he failed to catch Manuel Lanzini cross to allow Moura to snatch the win in the third minute of injury-time.

Fluminense won five of their six matches in Group Four and only lost to Boca Juniors a week ago in Rio de Janeiro.

Six-time Libertadores champions Boca Juniors ended in second place after they beat Venezuela's Zamora 2-0 at home.

Nicolas Blandi and Juan Roman Riquelme scored in the second half. Zamora midfielder Dollbyz Rodriguez was sent off with nine minutes remaining after a tough tackle on Riquelme.

"We are happy, but if we want to win the Copa Libertadores, we must improve our form," Riquelme told Fox Sports.

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