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4. LIBERTADORES CUP: Chivas Guadalajara reaches Libertadores semis
July 21st, 2006 3:08PM
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Chivas Guadalajara upset Argentine club Velez Sarsfield, 2-1, in Buenos Aires to advance to the Libertadores Cup semifinals for the second straight year. Ramon Morales scored from the penalty spot in the first half and Adolfo Bautista increased the lead while Chivas played with a man down after Diego Martinez's ejection. "If you ask me whether we can become the first Mexican side to win the Copa Libertadores, I'd say that we definitely can," said Chivas keeper Oswaldo Sanchez. The first leg, which Chivas played before the World Cup without six starters who were in national team camp, had ended 0-0.

Since Mexican teams were invited to the South American club championship in 1999, one has reached the final -- Cruz Azul, which fell on penalty kicks to Boca Juniors in 2001. Guadalajara is the first Mexican team to reach the final four two years in a row while marking the fifth time that a Mexican club has reached the semis.

In the semifinals, Guadalajara faces Brazil's Sao Paulo, which it beat twice in group play. Sao Paulo beat Argentina's Estudiantes on penalty kicks after their quarterfinal series ended tied, 1-1, on aggregate.

River Plate, the third Argentine team fail in the quarterfinals, fell 5-3 on aggregate to Paraguay's Libertad, which won the second leg, 3-1, in Asuncion in a game that was abandoned in the 80th minute because of fan violence. The result stands because the rioting was done by River fans. Libertad faces Sao Paulo in the semis, which take place in the last week of July and the first week of August.

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