Internacional stun Estudiantes with late winner
Internacional of Brazil eliminated defending Copa Libertadores champions Estudiantes of Argentina on away goals thanks to a dramatic late goal scored by Giuliano in Thurday's quarter-final.
After winning 1-0 in Brazil, also with a late goal, Inter were 2-0 behind in the second leg in Argentina with only three minutes to go when Giuliano struck to send the Brazilians into the semi-finals.
Estudiantes had dominated the first half and they scored twice in as many minutes. In the 19th minute, Argentina World Cup squad member Juan Sebastian Veron found Leandro Gonzalez free inside the box and the forward took his chance. A minute later, Enzo Perez scored a fabulous long-distance shot.
"We fell asleep for two minutes, it's impossible to explain those mistakes because we worked on those issues the whole week,'' said Inter coach, Uruguayan Jorge Fossati. "But in the second half, we didn't give Estudiantes any chance. Tactically, we played an excellent game. We faced the last American champions, but Inter were big and we eliminated them fairly.''
After the final whistle, Estudiantes' defender Leandro Desabato had a flare-up with compatriot, Inter's keeper Roberto Abbondanzieri, which ended in a fight between all the players. Inter will now face compatriots Sao Paulo looking for the spot in the finals.
Last week's away win for Universidad de Chile proved decisive as they too went through to the semi-finals on away goals despite Flamengo's 2-1 victory. Gerard Pelusso's Universidad side claimed a 3-2 win at the Maracana last week which put pressure on the Brazilians tonight in Santiago.
Although they dominated the first half they could not translate superiority into goals and it was the hosts who almost went further ahead when Walter Montillo hit the post. Leo Moura also struck the woodwork for Flamengo who were desperate to make a breakthrough and they went ahead on the stroke of half-time when Vagner Love headed home Adriano's cross.
However, despite more attacking they could not add to their lead and Montillo, the man of the match, levelled matters with less than 20 minutes remaining. Adriano converted a pass from Moura with 13 minutes left but they could not force another goal and it was the Chilean side that went through to the last four where they will meet Guadalajara.