Mexico's Club America pulled off one of the most improbable upsets in the history of the Libertadores Cup when it overturned a 4-2 deficit
from the first leg of its second-round series with Brazilian club Flamengo thanks to a 3-0 at the famed Maracana Stadium on Wednesday night.
The 5-4 victory on aggregate sent America,
last in the overall standings of the recently completed Mexican First Division Clausura regular season, on to the quarterfinals and marked the end of Joel
's reign at Flamengo. The veteran coach will take up his new job as head coach of 2010 World Cup host South Africa.
Coached by interim coach Juan Antonio Luna
, America took a 2-0 halftime lead and won the return leg on stocky Paraguay forward Salvador Cabanas
second goal of the evening in the 78th minute.
"From happiness to chaos," was the headline in the sports daily Lance
, which described
the defeat as an "historic embarrassment."
Atlas of Guadalajara also advanced, beating Lanus of Argentina, 3-2, on aggregate to give Mexico two teams in the
Flamengo's archrival, Fluminense, had better luck, beating Atletico Nacional of Colombia, 1-0, to advance, 3-1, on aggregate.
Also advancing to next
week's quarterfinals were Brazilian clubs Sao Paulo, the defending champion, and Santos, Boca Juniors and San Lorenzo of Argentina and LDU Quito of Ecuador.