The Strongest beats Santos in Copa Libertadores
LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) -Substitute striker Rodrigo Ramalho scored in the 90th-minute to give The Strongest of Bolivia a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over defending champion Santos in the teams' Group 1 opener in the Copa Libertadores on Wednesday.
Corinthians of Brazil scored deep into second-half stoppage time to salvage a 1-1 draw at Venezuela's Deportivo Tachira, while Brazilian club Flamengo drew 1-1 at Argentina's Lanus.
Ramalho netted the winner from a corner, heading in from the far post after the ball crossed through several defenders inside the area.
The late goal leaves The Strongest atop in the group with three points, tied with Brazil's Internacional. Santos and Peru's Juan Aurich are at the bottom of the group.
Santos defensive midfielder Henrique had opened the scoring from near the penalty spot in the 10th minute after a free kick taken by playmaker Paulo Henrique Ganso. He found the net with a low shot after Neymar's header had been saved by goalkeeper Daniel Vaca.
Paraguayan Ernesto Cristaldo equalized in the high altitude of La Paz with a header following a breakaway in the 33rd, off a cross from Enrique Parada.
Santos almost scored again in the 70th when Elano's shot setup by Neymar struck the post. Neymar also had a chance in the 83rd, but his shot from inside the area sailed wide.
Last year, Santos won its first Copa Libertadores title since legend Pele was its biggest star in 1962 and 1963.
Santos' next match is against Internacional at the Vila Belmiro on March 8. The Strongest will face Juan Aurich next week.
In Venezuela, defensive midfielder Ralf scored with a header four minutes into second-half stoppage time to give Corinthians a draw at Deportivo Tachira in Group 6.
Striker Sergio Herrera had put Deportivo Tachira ahead in the 21st, when the ball bounced off him and went into the net after Corinthians defender Fabio Santos tried to clear a cross from the area.
Corinthians playmaker Danilo struck the crossbar in the 26th with a header off a cross by midfielder Jorge Henrique.
Deportivo Tachira had a goal disallowed after a controversial offsides call in the 63rd.
In Argentina, Flamengo held Lanus to a 1-1 draw in Group 2. Defender Leo Moura opened the scoring from close range in the 45th minute, and Lanus equalized through Cesar Carranza in the 75th.
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