Libertad lead Libertadores charge
There were no draws in this week's nine Copa Libertadores ties as the group phase continued to unfold. One side seemingly set fair for the knockout round are Paraguay's Libertad, who collected their third win in three games. Boca, Cruzeiro and Caracas also picked up maximum points and there were notable away wins for Colo Colo and Sao Paulo. FIFA.com looks back on a typically eventful three days of Libertadores action.
A well-organised Colo Colo side took their chances to record a victory that could make all the difference between qualification and elimination. The hosts dictated play throughout but it was El Cacique who proved more effective in front of goal, converting what few chances came their way to bounce back from an opening-day home in defeat to Sport Recife. In doing so they became the first Chilean side to beat Palmeiras in the Libertadores.
Surprise of the week
Sport Recife 2-0 Liga Deportiva Universitaria de Quito
Goals: Daniel Paulista 13, Paulo Baier 73
Staying in Group 1, Sport Recife followed up their Santiago smash-and-grab with an unexpected win over the reigning champions, confirming their credentials as dark horses. Undaunted by the prospect of taking on the holders, the disciplined Brazilians displayed a real cutting edge up front. Their four goals in the tournament thus far have come from four different players, underlining the attacking options at their disposal. Liga de Quito have now lost on every one of their nine visits to Brazil in the competition.
Boca Juniors provided another example of their Copa pedigree by securing a vital 1-0 win away to Deportivo Tachira in Group 2, becoming the first Argentinian side to win in Venezuela in 13 years. Under pressure for lengthy periods, Los Xeniezes held their nerve and struck near the end through substitute Luciano Figueroa. They now lead the section with six points.
Libertad proved just as effective in disposing of San Lorenzo 2-0, both goals coming in a six-minute spell in the first half. Miguel Ximenez and Sergio Aquino were the men on target for El Gumarelo, who maintained their one-hundred per cent record and their position at the top of Group 8. El Ciclón were hampered by an early injury to goalkeeper Agustin Orion and have now on their last two Copa outings.
Another unbeaten side firmly on course for the next round are Cruzeiro, who retained their lead in Group 5 thanks to a 1-0 win over Universitario in Sucre, the only goal coming from Thiago Ribeiro. Sao Paulo made it three wins out of four for Brazilian teams this week when they beat America de Cali 3-1 in Colombia to take to the summit of Group 4. Washington was the hero of the night with two goals.
Twelve months after upsetting the mighty River Plate at home, Universidad San Martin went and did it again on Thursday. The Peruvians secured their first win in Group 3 courtesy of a Jose Luis Diaz penalty and a Gonzalo Luduena strike, with Radamel Falcao scoring for Los Millonarios.
Universidad de Chile kept their defensive and unbeaten records intact with a comfortable 3-0 defeat of Aurora of Bolivia. Having collected four points from two games, La U are out in front in Group 7. Setting the pace in Group 6 are Caracas following a fine 2-0 victory over Guadalajara, their second home win in a week.
Player of the week
Washington (Sao Paulo)
Sao Paulo's star signing of the season is starting to repay his transfer fee. The imposing 34-year-old striker scored twice in his side's impressive win in Cali, repeating his fine Copa form of last season, when he scored six times to help Fluminense reach the final.
50 - The number of years that have passed since the Copa Libertadores was founded. The competition came into being on 5 March 1959 at the 30th CONMEBOL Congress held in Buenos Aires and coinciding with the 26th Copa America. The first match in the tournament's history was played on 19 April 1960.
What they said
"It wasn't until the second half that we started playing the way we should. The second goal took some time in coming, though, and when you're only 1-0 up there's always a worry that you'll make a mistake and end up conceding. All the same, it was a well-deserved win," Universidad de Chile coach Sergio Markarian.
This week's results
Palmeiras (BRA) 1-3 Colo Colo (CHI)
Caracas FC (VEN) 2-0 Guadalajara (MEX)
Deportivo Tachira (VEN) 0-1 Boca Juniors (ARG)
Sport Recife (BRA) 2-0 Liga de Quito (ECU)
Universitario de Sucre (BOL) 0-1 Cruzeiro (BRA)
Universidad de Chile (CHI) 3-0 Aurora (BOL)
Libertad (PAR) 2-0 San Lorenzo (ARG)
Universidad San Martin (PER) 2-1 River Plate (ARG)
America de Cali (COL) 1-3 Sao Paulo (BRA)