Caracas and Gremio won their respective games to move into the last 16 of the 2009 Copa Libertadores, while Deportivo Tachira, Independiente Medellin and Boyaca Chico all took significant steps to joining them there. FIFA.com rounds up the latest news from Latin America's top club competition.
The visitors held their nerve in front of a noisy capacity crowd at the Estadio Nacional in Santiago, taking what goalscoring opportunities came their way to beat Universidad de Chile and secure a place in the next round. La U created chances of their own, particularly in the first half, but jeopardised their qualification bid by failing to convert them. If they are to join the Brazilians, Universidad now need results elsewhere to go their way.
El DIM celebrated their 96th anniversary in style, ending the unbeaten record of a Sao Paulo side that had already secured their place in the knockout phase. After drawing their opening four games, the men from Medellin were in desperate need of maximum points, and it showed as they surged into a first-half lead and defended it in determined fashion after the restart. Having revived their challenge, the Colombians now occupy pole position in the race for second place.
Aside from Gremio, Caracas were the only other side to progress to the next round this week. After defeating Group 6 rivals Everton 1-0 through a Dario Figueroa goal on Tuesday, El Rojo gratefully received news of Guadalajara's 0-0 draw at home to Lanus later that evening, a result that guaranteed them a place in the last 16 for the second time in four years. The other slot will go to either Everton or Chivas, third and second respectively, who face off in Vina del Mar next Wednesday.
Boyaca Chico took maximum advantage of Universidad de Chile's defeat by downing Aurora of Bolivia 2-1 at home to jump into second spot in Group 7. The Colombians are now two points clear of the Chileans with just one round of games to go.
Deportivo Tachira moved up to second in Group 2 after snatching a 2-1 win of their own at home to the already eliminated Guarani. With nine points to their name, the Venezuelans are two ahead of Deportivo Cuenca but have played one game more.
Deportivo Quito made light of going down to 10 men to overcome Universitario de Sucre 3-1 and stay alive in Group 5. The reigning Ecuadorian champions were indebted to a brace from Luis Saritama and are now two points behind leaders Cruzeiro, who will host them in their final game. Sandwiched in between are Estudiantes, who take on the bottom-placed Bolivians in their last engagement.
Palmeiras passed up an excellent opportunity to consolidate their position in Group 1 when they were restricted to a 1-1 draw at home to compatriots Sport Recife. The visitors were delighted with the result, however, as it moved them level with Colo Colo on seven points. The Chileans lead the section on goal difference.
In the final game of the week America played out a goalless draw with Defensor Sporting in Cali, a result that confirmed their exit form the tournament. El Viola were grateful to a superb performance from Uruguayan goalkeeper Martin Silva and their hopes of advancing from Group 4 now hang on next Wednesday's decisive encounter at home to Independiente Medellin, a game they must win.
Man of the week
Carlos Maldonado (Deportivo Tachira)
The Venezuelans were trailing and virtually out of the competition when coach Maldonado turned to his bench in search of a solution, throwing Yonathan del Valle and Marlon Fernandez into the fray. The double switch paid off as both substitutes scored to turn the game around for Tachira and renew their hopes of claiming a ticket to the third round.
90 - The number of games that Guarani have played in the Copa Libertadores following Thursday's loss at Deportivo Tachira. The Paraguayans have 28 wins, 25 draws and 37 defeats to their name and of their compatriots, only Olimpia (260) and Cerro Porteno (243) have played more matches in the competition.
What they said
"A draw in Recife would have been a good result for us but we went there and won. Now we've managed a point in Sao Paulo, which means we've picked up the points we expected to before these two games. The group is wide open now and it's all down to the final day," Palmeiras player Diego Souza.
This week's results
Deportivo Quito (ECU) 3-1 Universitario de Sucre (BOL)
Caracas (VEN) 1-0 Everton (CHI)
Guadalajara (MEX) 0-0 Lanus (ARG)
Universidad de Chile (CHI) 0-2 Gremio (BRA)
Palmeiras (BRA) 1-1 Sport Recife (BRA)
Independiente Medellin (COL) 2-1 Sao Paulo (BRA)
Boyaca Chico (COL) 2-1 Aurora (BOL)
Deportivo Tachira (VEN) 2-1 Guarani (PAR)
America de Cali (COL) 0-0 Defensor Sporting (URU)