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Nacional Advances to Libertadores Semifinal
SI.com, June 18th, 2009 3:03PM
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On Wednesday, Uruguayan club Nacional advanced to its first Copa Libertadores semifinals since 1989 thanks to a scoreless draw with Brazil's Palmeiras at Centennial Stadium. Nacional advanced on the away-goal rule, thanks to Santiago Garcia's goal 10 minutes from the end of the 1-1 draw in San Pablo three weeks ago.

On Wednesday, Nacional was content to defend and wait to counterattack before 45,000 fans. Palmeiras kept up the attack but was frustrated in the first half and couldn't keep up the pressure in the second. The result eliminated Palmeiras, the 1999 champ, and ensured the final will not be an all-Brazilian affair. Four Brazilian clubs reached the quarterfinals.

In the semifinals, Nacional could face either fellow Uruguayan club Defensor Sporting, or Estudiantes of Argentina. Estudiantes goes into the second leg at home on Thursday with a 1-0 lead. Nacional has won the Copa Libertadores three times, the last 21 years ago.

 

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