Estudiantes, Cruzeiro reach semis

Estudiantes advanced to the Copa Libertadores semi-finals after beating Uruguayans Defensor 1-0 at home to complete a 2-0 aggregate victory.

Estudiantes went in front in the 14th minute when midfielder Leandro Benitez applied the finishing touch following a nice move down the left. The hosts could have extended their advantage before the break but striker Mauro Boselli twice fired narrowly wide.

The second half saw chances few and far between and Defensor midfielder Carlos Silva was sent off five minutes from the end as Estudiantes set up a clash with another Uruguayan side, Nacional.

"We came through against a very tough team but we know that Nacional will be even tougher," said Juan Sebastian Veron. "Estudiantes are once again in a Libertadores' semi-final much like during the club`s golden age. This squad deserves the support of the fans."

Estudiantes are once again in a Libertadores' semi-final much like during the club`s golden age,
Estudiantes midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron.

Cruzeiro came through the all-Brazilian tie with Sao Paulo as a 2-0 win sealed a 4-1 triumph on aggregate. Already 2-1 down from the first leg, Sao Paulo suffered a further setback just before half-time when Eduardo Costa picked up a second booking after fouling Jonathan.

Despite playing with a man less, the home side had a chance to go ahead in the second-half when a threatening run from Hernanes ended with the substitute finding Borges but the striker dallied too long and the opportunity was lost. They were made to pay in the 65th minute when Henrique beat keeper Denis from the edge of the box with a powerful strike.

And the tie was over ten minutes from time when Andre Dias was sent off after handling inside the area and Kleber made no mistake from the spot. Cruzeiro now face fellow Brazilian side Gremio in the last four.