The group phase of the Copa Libertadores 2009 reached the midway point this week, with several contenders doing their chances of reaching the last 16 a power of good. Colo Colo, Deportivo Quito, Deportivo Tachira, Gremio, Guadalajara and Universidad San Martin all secured important wins, while the likes of Lanus and America de Cali were left to lament dropped points. FIFA.com rounds up all the latest developments.
Game of the week
Colo Colo 3-0 Liga de Quito (Group 1)
Goals: Cesar Carranza 57, Roberto Cerecera 60, Lucas Barrios 65
Colo Colo moved top of the section after cantering to victory over defending champions Liga de Quito. El Cacique dominated from the off but failed to translate their superiority into goals in the first half. That all changed after the interval, when Carranza scored the first of three goals in a devastating eight-minute spell. With only three points from three games, Liga have much to do if they are to retain their crown.
Surprise of the week
Boyaca Chico 0-1 Gremio (Group 7)
Goal: Souza 31
At first sight, Gremio's slender win might not look much of surprise. The fact is, though, that the Brazilians had never won on their six previous Copa Libertadores visits to Colombia, earning a single draw and five defeats. Souza's strike allowed the men from Porto Alegre to buck that trend and dictate the pace against the well-organised but toothless Boyaca, who passed up a magnificent opportunity to move to the section's summit.
Eight days after going down to Caracas in Venezuela, Guadalajara gained revenge with a 1-0 home win to regain the leadership in Group 6. An entertaining and evenly-balanced encounter went Chivas's way when Aaron Galindo struck 11 minutes from time.
The bottom two sides in the section, Everton and Lanus, failed to do their hopes much good when they played out a 1-1 draw in Vina del Mar. The Argentinian league leaders went ahead through Diego Gonzalez, with Ezequiel Miralles replying for the Chileans in the second half. The result leaves Lanus fourth on two points, while Everton remain third on four.
Deportivo Tachira collected their second win in three games with a 1-0 home defeat of Deportivo Cuenca. Jose Villafraz's superbly executed free-kick give the Venezuelans the points and helped them move second in Group 2 behind Boca Juniors.
After disposing of River Plate last week, Universidad San Martin made it two home wins in seven days when they downed Paraguay's Nacional 2-1, both goals coming from Pedro Garcia. The Peruvians now lie second on goal difference in Group 3, although leaders, Nacional of Uruguay, have a game in hand.
Another side climbing into second place this week were Deportivo Quito, who slotted in just behind Cruzeiro in Group 5 after a 1-0 home win over Estudiantes. Colombian striker Leider Preciado scored the winner for the Ecuadorian champions, prompting Leonardo Astrada's resignation as Pincharrata coach.
The week's two other games ended in stalemates that left all of the sides involved disappointed. Colombian duo America de Cali and Independiente Medellin remain fourth and third in Group 4 respectively after drawing 1-1, while the Group 8 encounter between Universitario of Peru and Mexico's San Luis ended goalless.
Player of the week
Samuel Vanegas (Independiente Medellin)
The 32-year-old centre-half was the centre of attention in the battle with America de Cali, scoring at both ends in a 1-1 draw. Vanegas gave Independiente the lead early in the second half only to put through his own goal ten minutes from time.
21 - The number of times Peruvian and Mexican teams have met in the Copa Libertadores since 1998, when the latter were first admitted to the competition. So far Mexico holds sway with 14 wins, four draws - the latest between Universitario and San Luis - and just three defeats.
What they said
"How can we not feel bad about losing this game? We worked really hard for 85 minutes and then threw it away with another mistake. What we have to do is play exactly the same way for 90 or 95 minutes," Estudiantes defender Leandro Desabato.
This week's results
Deportivo Quito (ECU) 1-0 Estudiantes (ARG)
America de Cali (COL) 1-1 Independiente Medellin (COL)
Universitario (PER) 0-0 San Luis (MEX)
Deportivo Tachira (VEN) 1-0 Deportivo Cuenca (ECU)
Everton (CHI) 1-1 Lanus (ARG)
Guadalajara (MEX) 1-0 Caracas (VEN)
Boyaca Chico (COL) 0-1 Gremio (BRA)
Universidad San Martin (PER) 2-1 Nacional (PAR)
Colo Colo (CHI) 3-0 Liga de Quito (ECU)