Friday, 26 October 2007

Arsenal, America and Millionairos Through to Copa Sudamericana Semi-Finals

Arsenal de Sarandi, America of Mexico and Millionairos Bogota all booked their places in the Copa Sudamericana semi-finals after last night's second leg games, as Defensor Sporting and River Plate drew their first leg match in Uruguay.

After a 0-0 draw in the first leg, Arsenal de Sarandi beat Chivas Guadalajara 3-1 away from home, thanks to a double strike from Javier Yacuzzi and a third from Santiago Raymonda. Sergio Santana scored Chivas' only goal of the night as the Mexican team limped to defeat.

Their compatriots America went through after holding out for a 1-0 defeat against Vasco da Gama, triumphing 2-1 on aggregate. Temporary Vasco coach Romario sent out an attacking team and was rewarded ten minutes in when Amaral fired in a Rubens Junior knock-back to give the Brazilian side the lead. They continued to attack throughout the rest of the ninety minutes but were denied by the inspired form of America goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, who pulled off a string of excellent saves to keep the score down to one and ensure America's place in the semi-finals.

Millionairos Bogota provided the shock of the round, adding to their 1-0 victory in the first leg with a 2-0 victory at home to Sao Paulo in the second. A double from Ricardo Ciciliano confirmed their place in the semi-finals.

Defensor Sporting and River Plate drew 2-2 in their first leg encounter. River twice held the lead, first through Ariel Ortega after five minutes and then Radamal Falcao after thirty minutes, only to see Pablo Gaglianone and then Sergio Valenti pull the game back level. With two away goals under their belt, River will be confident of prevailing after the second leg next week.

The full results were as follows (aggregate scores in brackets)

Guadalajara (Mex) 1 (1) - 3 (3) Arsenal de Sarandi (Arg)
Vasco da Gama (Bra) 1 (1) - 0 (2) America (Mex)
Millionairos (Col) 2 (3) - 0 (0) Sao Paulo (Bra)

Defensor Sporting (Uru) 2 - 2 River Plate (Arg)

The semi-final lineup will be as follows, with the first leg games expected to be played on the 8th November:

America (Mex) vs Arsenal de Sarandi (Arg)
Millionairos (Col) vs River Plate (Arg) or Defensor Sporting (Uru)

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