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Copa Libertadores 2012, Round Of 16: Universidad de Chile Go Down In Flames

La U entered Copa Libertadores as favorites, but they're about to exit in spectacular fashion.

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Deportivo Quito Vs. Universidad de Chile, 2012 Copa Libertadores: La U Fall Apart

Unless they pull off a whooping of a lifetime -- and let's be honest, this is not impossible -- pre-tournament favorites Universidad de Chile appear to be crashing out of Copa Libertadores. They were very poor and let their frustrations get the better of them in a chippy match in Ecuador. Deportivo Quito made the most of their mistakes and played some great football, going on to a 4-1 win.

La U manager Jorge Sampaoli was sent off just 20 minutes into the match, not long before Matias Alustiza scored the opener for Deportivo Quito. However, less than one minute following the ensuing kickoff. La U were handed a big advantage when Benito Olivo Gonzalez picked up his second yellow card in seven minutes, putting the Chileans up a man. They responded quickly with a goal by Matias Rodriguez in the 36th minute.

From there, it was all downhill for La U. That goal would be their last shot on target. Just before the halftime whistle, Deportivo Quito found a goal through Luis Armando Checa, a disheartening goal for La U. The second half was an absolute disaster for the defending Sudamericana champions, as they allowed two more goals and Osvaldo Gonzalez picked up a red card.

La U is stellar at home in Santiago and a 3-0 win in the return leg is hardly out of the question, but they're close to bowing out of the competition earlier than anyone expected.


Copa Libertadores 2012, Wednesday Wrap: Boca Juniors, Vasco da Gama Win While Corinthians Draw

Boca Juniors and Vasco da Gama took the lead in their Copa Libertadores Round of 16 ties on Wednesday night, though both left the ties wide open. Union Española and Lanus both grabbed away goals in their one-goal losses, leaving things very much up in the air. In the other match on Wednesday, Corinthians grabbed an important away draw, but failed to score a goal.

Boca Juniors 2-1 Union Española

Juan Roman Riquelme netted the opener for Boca, netting in the 24th minute on a great give-and-go move with Dario Cvitanich in the 24th minute. Boca looked like the team on top for most of the rest of the first half and the beginning of the secon half, but Union Española found an equalizer on a great long ball attack. In the 72nd minute, Emanuel Herrera beat his man in the air and headed the ball directly into the path of Sebastian Jaime, who hit a vicious shot into the back of the net from just inside the box. Their joy was short lived, however, as Santiago Silva headed in a winner from a Pablo Mouche cross in the 89th minute.

Vasco da Gama 2-1 Lanus

Vasco da Gama took a 2-0 lead heading into halftime of their match, but eventually gave Lanus a way back into the tie. Alecsandro opened the scoring with a nice one-touch finish in the 24th minute, but he was topped by his teammate Diego Souza. In the 42nd minute, he popped the ball up in the air twice to beat two defenders, then snapped a volley into the back of the net from 12 yards. Lanus will have a chance to advance at home because of a 61st minute goal by Mario Regueiro, scored from close range after he took a lofted ball off his chest.

Emelec 0-0 Corinthians

The Brazilian giants will have liked to grab an away goal, but they'll be comfortable with a draw heading home. It's tough to believe that Emelec can pull off a win in Brazil, and they might have to go play for a 0-0 and penalties. The good news for them is that they won't have to deal with Jorge Henrique in the second leg. He picked up a red card in the 52nd minute and will be suspended.


Cruz Azul Vs. Libertad, 2012 Copa Libertadores: Paraguayans Snatch Late Draw

Libertad weren't at their best in the first half against Cruz Azul, but a good second half performance helped them to an important away draw and a goal. They let Cruz Azul create a lot of shooting opportunities and dodged a couple of bullets on Tuesday night, but they'll be happy to leave Mexico City with a 1-1 draw.

The Paraguayan side are favorites headed home in their Copa Libertadores tie, and they'll become massive favorites if Cruz Azul goalkeeper Jesus Corona isn't able to make the trip. In an unfortunate incident in the beginning of their first leg match, Corona took an inadvertent knee to the head in the10th minute and appeared to lose consciousness on the pitch. It took three minutes for him to be stretchered off, and he was replaced by Yosgart Gutierrez.

The Blue Machine opened the scoring through Javier Orozco in the 26th minute. At the end of a great passing move, Edixon Perea swung a cross towards the far post, which was met by the head of Maranhao. He couldn't direct the ball towards the goal, but did find Orozco, who finished off the move and scored his fifth goal of the competition.

Libertad played a fairly conservative game in the first half, but were much more aggressive in the second half. They looked more open as a result and Rodrigo Muñoz had to make five second half saves as a result, but their aggression paid off for them. Striker Pablo Velazquez was one of three Libertad players in the Cruz Azul penalty area when he got onto the end of a ball by Carlos Bonet, heading it into an empty net that Gutierrez had vacated. The Blue Machine's substitute keeper made an ill-advised decision to come after the ball, even though he had to get through three attacking players to get to the ball, and needless to say, he didn't get there.

Cruz Azul have the benefit of a full week's rest because of their elimination from the Mexican Liguilla playoffs, but Libertad will still be favorites to advance in the return leg.


Atletico Nacional Vs. Velez Sarsfield, 2012 Copa Libertadores: Visitors Take Control

Velez Sarsfield is well in control of their Copa Libertadores Round of 16 tie after pulling off a road win in Colombia on Tuesday. One day after they fired manager Santiago Escobar, Atletico Nacional did not look like a team with a plan, and Velez came away from the first leg with a 1-0 victory.

Ivan Bella scored the game's only goal in the 9th minute, and it was an absolute beauty. Collecting a pass from Juan Manuel Martinez on the edge of the penalty area to the left of Gaston Pezzuti, Bella turned and curled a fantastic shot around Pezzuti's hand, sneaking his shot into the back of the net at the far post.

Velez were gifted a chance to put the tie away completely in the 54th minute when Alejandro Bernal hauled down Martinez in the box, giving away a penalty. Martinez stepped up to the spot, but didn't place his shot well and Pezzuti made a save to keep the deficit to one goal.

Atletico Nacional got forward regularly after that, but couldn't truly test Marcelo Barovero. Their star Dorlan Pabon, the competition's leading scorer, regularly settled for long-range shots and their crosses into the box looked aimless. The good news for them is that Velez has been worse at home than they have been on the road this season, so this tie is not over, but they'll struggle to get back into it next week.

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