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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul 20, 2006

Sao Paulo through to Libertadores semi-finals

RIO DE JANEIRO, July 20 (Reuters) - Defending champions Sao Paulo scraped into the semi-finals of the Libertadores Cup on Wednesday by beating Argentina's Estudiantes on penalties.

They were joined by fellow Brazilians Internacional who overcame Ecuador's LDU 2-0 in their quarter-final second leg for a 2-1 aggregate win.

Sao Paulo won 4-3 in the shootout after their 1-0 home win at the Morumbi stadium levelled the aggregate score at 1-1.

The game ended in ugly scenes as dozens of Sao Paulo fans ran onto the field to celebrate, forcing the players to rush to the changing rooms.

Estudiantes had won by the same score in the first game played in early May before the World Cup.

They had changed coaches since with former Argentina captain Diego Simeone replacing Jorge Burruchaga.

Estudiantes took the game to Sao Paulo in the first half and rattled their opponents only to fall behind to a set-piece just before the interval.

Central defender Edcarlos swept home Junior's free kick in the 44th minute after he was left unmarked.

Sao Paulo improved after halftime but could not break down the Estudiantes defence. As extra-time is not played in the Libertadores, the game went straight to penalties.

Each team converted their first three kicks before Sao Paulo's Danilo and Estudiantes's Agustin Alayes both saw their efforts saved.

Junior converted Sao Paulo's fifth and Marcelo Carrusca pulled his effort wide for Estudiantes to send the Brazilians into the quarter-finals.

Internacional created a hatful of first-half chances in Porto Alegre but were unable to find a way past goalkeeper Cristian Mora, one of seven of Ecuador's World Cup squad in the LDU starting line-up.

The Brazilians finally broke through seven minutes after halftime when Rafael Sobis ran at Giovanny Esponiza, found space for a shot and scored from the edge of the penalty area.

With three minutes to go, Colombian striker Wason Renteria, who replaced Sobis in the 83rd minute, ran onto a long ball out of defence and cleverly lobbed the ball over the advancing Mora.

LDU came within a whisker of pulling a goal back and sending the game to penalties when a free kick by Moises Candelario was turned around the post by Clemer in the last move of the game.

Internacional will face Paraguay's Libertad in the semi-finals.

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