Libertadores: Palmeiras, Chivas win thrillers to advance
MONTERREY, Mexico (AP) -- Palmeiras of Brazil and Mexican club Chivas of Guadalajara had crucial wins Wednesday to join the growing list of teams qualified for the knockout round of the Copa Libertadores.
Palmeiras scored a late goal to beat Colo Colo of Chile in Santiago and claim second spot in Group 1, while Chivas held on for a 1-1 away draw with another Chilean club Everton to clinch second place in Group 6.
Just two more places are up for grabs in the round of 16 in Latin America's top club competition, with pre-tournament favorite Boca Juniors of Argentina among the sides hoping to clinch progression on the final day of group play Thursday.
The two-legged knockout round takes place from May 6-13, with the final set for July 1 and 8.
Palmeiras playmaker Cleiton Xavier provided the highlight of Wednesday's play with a powerful 30-meter shot in the 87th minute that put the Brazilian club through at the expense of Colo Colo.
The Chilean side was just minutes away from claiming the point needed to progress on goal difference above Palmeiras.
Sport Recife of Brazil won Group 1 with 13 points after a 3-2 away victory over defending champion Liga de Quito of Ecuador.
Andrade scored a double for Sport either side of a header by Igor as the Brazilian club came from behind twice to win.
Carlos Espinola opened the scoring and Liga took the lead for the second time through Danny Vera.
Liga, which had two men sent off during the match, became only the second reigning champion to exit in the first round, after Internacional of Brazil in 2007.
Mexican club Chivas looked to be cruising into the knockout round when Javier Hernandez scored an early goal after 6 minutes against Everton.
Chivas only had to avoid defeat against the Chilean club to advance, but nerves jangled when Jaime Riveros struck a dipping free kick to level the scores two minutes after the break.
Everton striker Ezequiel Miralles hit the crossbar with five minutes of regular time to play, but Chivas held on to advance in second place.
Caracas of Venezuela progressed from top spot after holding Lanus of Argentina to a 1-1 draw in Buenos Aires.
Dario Figueroa put Caracas ahead after 30 minutes, but Ivan Macalik equalized for Lanus in the 39th.
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