Corinthians and Internacional kick off the quarterfinals with narrow victories over Estudiantes and Bolívar, respectively.
Corinthians 1×0 Estudiantes
In the Sudamericana quarterfinals, Corinthians defeated Estudiantes 1-0 at Neo Química Arena, taking the lead in the match.
With this victory, the Brazilian team secured their 7th consecutive home win.
Before kick-off, during a minute of silence, the 7 lives lost in the bus accident early Sunday morning (20) were honored. Some lights in Neo Química Arena dimmed, and the names of the Corinthians fans were highlighted on the stadium’s panels.
As the game began, Estudiantes started stronger, controlling possession and making attacking moves, with Mancuso causing danger on the offensive.
However, it was Corinthians who opened the scoring. In the 16th minute, Rojas delivered a corner kick to the far post, and Gil rose to hit a powerful volley with his chest.
In the 21st minute, the crowd protested a penalty not given in favor of Corinthians. After a cross, Maycon contested the ball with Lollo in the box, the ball hit the Argentine’s hand twice, but the VAR didn’t even signal for the referee to review the penalty.
In the 24th minute, Estudiantes came close to equalizing. Moscardo was fouled by Rollheiser just outside the penalty area. Sosa skillfully took the free-kick, hitting the post with Cássio rooted to the spot. The ball rebounded to Cássio’s arms, and with a stroke of luck, he managed to make the save.
Both teams created chances through quick transitions. Estudiantes relied on Rollheiser, and Corinthians looked to Fábio Santos.
In the second half, Corinthians performed better and created the best opportunities. In the 14th minute, Renato Augusto moved from the wing to the center of the area, aiming for the top corner, posing a threat.
In the 31st minute, Moscardo made an impressive play and passed to Maycon, who faced the goalkeeper one-on-one, but the Argentine defender prevented the goal.
In the 37th minute, Gustavo Mosquito missed an unbelievable chance. Fábio Santos played a deep pass to Romero, who won the duel with the defender and passed to Mosquito. With an open goal from close range, the striker somehow managed to miss the target.
With the advantage, Corinthians will decide the qualification in Argentina, at the Jorge Luis Hirschi Stadium.
Photo: Jhony Inacio/Meu Timão
Bolívar 0x1 Internacional
Internacional defeats Bolívar at high altitude, taking an important step towards the semifinals of the Libertadores.
Playing at 3,600 meters above sea level, Inter endured the pressure and secured victory with a goal from Enner Valencia early in the match.
At the 10-minute mark, Bolívar came close to scoring. After a cross into the box, the ball fell to Da Costa, who took a shot that deflected on its way, but Rochet recovered brilliantly to make the save.
The solitary goal of the match was scored by Colorado at the 15-minute mark. Alan Patrick found Enner Valencia, who went one-on-one with the defender, entered the box, and struck a powerful shot across the goal to open the scoring.
The home team posed a threat in aerial plays. In the 18th minute, Da Costa anticipated and headed the ball just past the post.
Bolívar also threatened with long-range shots. First with Villamíl, saved by Rochet, and then with Justiniano, who unleashed a powerful left-footed shot that kissed the post.
Due to the effects of the altitude, Bolívar attempted long-range shots. In the 61st minute of the second half, Villamíl tried his luck from outside the box, and Rochet parried the ball with a header-like save.
In the following minutes, Bolívar hit the crossbar twice. First with Ronnie Fernández’s header, and later with Da Costa redirecting a cross.
Inter held off the pressure and will now decide the qualification at Beira-Rio, alongside their supporters.
Photo: Gaston Brito Miserocchi/Getty Images
Written by Henry Miller.