Racing Club 0-2 Corinthians
Corinthians ensured they would enter the Round of 16 from top spot in Group 1 after a comfortable 2-0 victory in Montevideo against Racing Club. Dentinho opened the scoring after 18 minutes and Elias wrapped things up three minutes from time. The result is a big blow for Racing's chances of qualifying as one of the best six runners up.
1. (Q) Corinthians 13pts
2. Racing Club 7pts
3. Independiente Medellín 6pts
4. Cerro Porteño 1pt
Blooming 1-2 Libertad
Lanús 0-0 Universitario
Group 4 came to a close with both games being played at the same time. Lanús had to win to give themselves anychance of qualifying for the last 16 and overhaul Universitario. The goalless draw was of absolutely no use to them at all. Whilst denying Universitario top spot in the group it allowed Libertad to qualify directly into the last 16 after their 2-1 come from behind victory at Blooming. Julio Hurtado put Blooming ahead after 27 minutes but Adalberto Roman levelled seven minutes before half time. Eight minutes into the second half Rodolfo Gamarra grabbed the winner to give Libertad the win and top spot.
1. (Q) Libertad 12 pts
2. Universitario 10pts
3. Lanús 8pts
4. Blooming 1pt
Deportivo Quito 2-1 Cerro
Emelec 0-0 Internacional
Deportivo Quito snatched the initiative in Group 5 after a 2-1 home win against Cerro put them top of the group with a game to play. Isaac Mina put Deportivo ahead after 20 minutes but they were pulled back by a penalty from Claudio Dadómo seven minutes later. It looked like that game was heading for a draw but Luis Checa grabbed a winner four minutes from time. Down the road in Guayacil there were no goals as Internacional surrendered top spot and Emelec got their first point of the competition. It's all to play for in the last week of the group where the top two in the group clash in Porto Alegre.
1. Deportivo Quito 10pts
2. Internacional 9pts
3. Cerro 7pts
4. Emelec 1pts
Colo Colo 1-1 Cruzeiro
Vélez Sársfield 4-0 Deportivo Italia
Group 7 also came to a conclusion with the big two both ensuring passage into the last 16. Cruzeiro only had themselves to blame for not getting top spot after letting a lead slip at Colo Colo. Thiago Ribiero put Cruzeiro ahead after 57 minutes but Rodrigo Millar levelled for the home side 4 minutes later. Andre Scotti saw red for the home side with 10 minutes to go. Vélez took their opportunity with both hands after thumping group whipping boys Deportivo Italia 4-0. Victor Zapata put Vélez ahead three minutes before half time and Rodrigo López doubled the lead from the spot three minutes after the break. Emiliano Papa made it three seventeen minutes from time and a second for López seven minutes from time wrapped things up.
1. (Q) Vélez Sársfield 13pts
2. (Q) Cruzeiro 11pts
3. Colo Colo 8pts
4. Deportivo Italia 1pt
Universidad Católica 2-0 Flamengo
Caracas FC 1-3 Universidad de Chile
Flamengo are now in great danger of not making the last 16 after another defeat in Santiago, this time against Universidad Católica. Flamengo were behind after just two minutes, Damien Díaz opened the scoring and Francisco Silva doubled the lead right on half time. Universidad de Chile ensured their place in the last 16 with a 3-1 win in Caracas. Universidad had the game wrapped up by half time, Mauricio Victorino opened the scoring after 18 minutes and Juan Olivera doubled the last from the spot in the 32nd minute. When Matias Rodríguez put the game to bed three minutes later Universidad de Chile were heading for the last 16. Caracas then had Alejandro Guerra sent off midway through the second half but grabbed a consolation goal from Cesar Gonzalez 14 minutes from time.
1. (Q) Universidad de Chile 11pts
2. Flamengo 7pts
3. Universidad Católica 6pts
4. Caracas FC 2pts
Right, so far then.
Definitely in the Round of 16 are Corinthians, Once Caldas, Alianza Lima, Libertad, Vélez Sársfield, Cruzeiro
Assured of a top two finish but not quite yet qualified are São Paulo, Estudiantes, Universiatrio, Nacional
Eliminated from the competition are Cerro Porteño, Monterrey, Club Nacional, Juan Aurich, Bolívar, Lanús, Blooming, Emelec, Deportivo Cuenca, Colo Colo, Deportivo Italia, Caracas FC
Next week sees all the remaining six groups come to a conclusion. The fixtures are
Bolívar v Juan Aurich
Estudiantes v Alianza Lima
Nacional v Morelia
Banfield v Deportivo Cuenca
Club Nacional v Monterrey
São Paulo v Once Caldas
Universidad de Chile v Universidad Católica
Flamengo v Caracas FC
Cerro Porteño v Racing Club
Internacional v Deportivo Quito
Corinthians v Independiente Medellín
Cerro v Emelec
With San Luis and Guadalajara joining the competition at the Round of 16, only six of the group runners up will qualify for the last 16. Basically it's the best six records that will go into the last 16 and this is how the runners up battle looks at the moment.
Group 7 1. Cruzeiro P6 11pts +6GD
Group 2 2. São Paulo P5 10pts +6GD (Could still win group)
Group 3 3. Estudiantes P5 10pts +5GD (Could still win group)
Group 4 4. Universitario P6 10pts +3GD
Group 5 5. Internacional P5 9pts +3GD (Could still win group or be eliminated)
Group 6 6. Banfield P5 8pts +2GD (Could still win group or be eliminated)
Group 8 7. Flamengo P5 7pts +1GD (Could still be eliminated by finishing third)
Group 1 8. Racing P5 7pts -1GD (Could still be eliminated by finishing third)
Cruzeiro are definitely through, but you can now see why next weeks game for Flamengo is so important. To guarantee qualification they need to beat Caracas by three clear coals. It's a much tougher task for Racing Club because of their poor goal difference. It will all pan out next week and we'll be here with an update next Friday and have the games for the round of 16.