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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May 4, 2006

Sao Paulo win stormy Libertadores tie with late pen

RIO DE JANEIRO, May 3 (Reuters) - Goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni converted a late penalty to give defending champions Sao Paulo a 2-1 victory over local rivals Palmeiras and a place in the Libertadores Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday.

Ceni's goal gave Sao Paulo a 3-2 aggregate win in the all-Brazilian third-round tie to repeat their victory over Palmeiras at the same stage of last year's competition.

Furious Palmeiras players surrounded and pushed the referee at the end of the match before police stepped in and midfielder Marcinho Guerrero was sent off.

The game itself also produced one red card for each team, a fight in the penalty area and more than 50 fouls.

The match, with Palmeiras playing away from home, turned in the 82nd minute when a Palmeiras attack broke down after the ball hit the referee.

Sao Paulo broke away, Junior was bundled over by Christian and the referee pointed to the spot.

After more than two minutes of Palmeiras protests, Ceni stepped up and converted but the goal was disallowed because he was judged to have paused for too long before shooting.

Ceni, who had returned to his penalty area before realising what had happened, had to walk all the way back down the field to calmly convert his second attempt nearly five minutes after the penalty was awarded.

Sao Paulo began as hot favourites against an ageing Palmeiras side who are bottom of the Brazilian championship.

They began strongly when Danilo hit the crossbar in the 12th minute and went ahead two minutes later when striker Aloisio scored from close range.

Despite being outplayed for long periods, Palmeiras equalised in the 58th minute when Washington, left unmarked at a free kick, headed home from six metres.

Ten minutes later, Sao Paulo had defender Leandro sent off for a tackle from behind.

After Sao Paulo regained the lead, tempers flared as Palmeiras pressed for an equaliser which would have sent them through on away goals.

Ceni was booked for time-wasting and Palmeiras midfielder Paulo Baier was sent off for pushing the goalkeeper in the incident which sparked a brawl.

Velez Sarsfield won their all-Argentine tie against Newell's Old Boys after twice coming from behind to draw 2-2 in Buenos Aires and qualify 6-4 on aggregate.

Starting with a handsome advantage from the first leg, Velez did most of the attacking but were foiled by an outstanding display from Paraguay goalkeeper Justo Villar.

Newell's, needing to score at least three goals to qualify, went ahead in the 53rd minute when Ariel Ortega found Ignacio Scocco unmarked and he fired past Gaston Sessa.

Fernando Bellushi and Ortega went close to a second but Newell's fell away after midfielder Claudio Husain was sent off for a second bookable offence in the 63rd minute.

Velez equalised in the 77th minute with a Leandro Somoza penalty, Newell's regained the lead when Hugo Colace scored from close range in the 85th minute and Dario Ocampo's injury-time equaliser saved Velez's unbeaten record in the competition.

Brazil's Internacional also went through, a goalless draw at home to Uruguay's Nacional giving them a 2-1 aggregate win.

Nacional striker Marco Vanzini had two goals disallowed as they visitors gave Internacional an uncomfortable time.

The first, a header in the third minute, was ruled out for offside although replays suggested the goal was legitimate. He also put the ball in the net following a goalmouth scramble in the second half but was judged to have fouled goalkeeper Clemer.