Brazilian sides Flamengo, Corinthians and Cruzeiro were all victorious in the Copa Libertadores last night.
Seleção striker Adriano was on target as O Mengão beat Chilean outfit Universidad Catolica 2-0 in a stormy Group 8 duel in Rio de Janeiro. The hosts endured a difficult start when midfielder Willians was sent off after just two minutes for throwing a punch at Hans Martinez.
The ten men took the lead eight minutes later, however, through a fantastic Leo Moura free-kick. And Flamengo gained further momentum when Universidad captain Milovan Mirosevic was also shown a red card before half-time. Adriano doubled the Carioca giants' advantage 13 minutes after the break.
“It was important to get off on the right footing because the supporters and the squad need this title so much,” said Leo Moura, who left the field to a standing ovation when he was substituted in the second half and was duly named as the man of the match.
“It was a very special match, everything went right. I promised my daughters, Duda and Isabella, I’d score. To leave the pitch to such applause at the Maracana is something that made me very proud.”
In Group 7, Cruzeiro also beat Chilean opposition in the shape of Colo-Colo, 4-1. Thiago Ribeiro put the home side ahead only for Esteban Paredes to level nine minutes before half-time.
The visitors capitulated in the second half, though, starting with the 57th-minute dismissal of defender Diego Olate. Four minutes later, Kleber restored Cruzeiro's lead from the spot with Colo-Colo's Roberto Cereceda then seeing red. Pedro Ken made it 3-1 against the nine men with Kleber's second penalty of the evening completing the rout.
Elias scored twice as Corinthians beat Racing 2-1 in Group 1. Martin Cauteruccio put the Uruguayans ahead in the first minute, but the 24-year-old grabbed a brace to give O Timão the points.
In Group 3, Juan Aurich beat Bolivar 2-0, while in Group 2, Monterrey edged past Nacional from Paraguay 2-1.