SECOND ROUND aND QUaRTER- FINaLS
All the teams from Bolivia, Chile and Peru had been knocked out in the group phase. Venezuela and Paraguay were left without representation after the second round, which also whittled down the contingent from Brazil and Argentina. The big two had 9 of the last 16 teams – five of them failed to make it through to the quarter-finals.
The most stunning elimination was that of reigning champions River Plate, beaten 2-1 on aggregate by Independiente del Valle after they had given evidence of their resilience by drawing 0-0 away to Colo Colo of Chile to get out of the group phase.
They had to dig deep once more in the quarter-finals against Pumas of mexico. Away from home in the second leg they were down to 10 men when they needed a goal to force penalties. Sornoza scored from a free kick, and they came flawlessly through the shoot-out.
All the quarter-finals were tight. In the all-Brazilian affair, Sao Paulo beat Atletico mineiro on away goals. Boca and Nacional of Uruguay also went to penalties – with the Uruguayans in the driving seat until they missed three in a row.
And it was in the quarter-finals that the eventual champions had their big scare. Rueda picked a strange team, starting with three centre-backs as Atletico Nacional went down 1-0 away to Rosario Central of Argentina, their only defeat of the campaign. An early – perhaps harsh – penalty scored by Central’s marco Ruben in medellin then left Nacional needing to score three times.
Two came either side of half time, but Central tightened up in midfield. In fact, they went too far.
Eduardo Coudet’s team had played some splendid football in the competition, but now they betrayed their identity, overdoing the time wasting and paying the price when orlando Berrio – introduced soon after the half hour with Nacional desperately seeking goals – swept home the decisive strike in the sixth minute of stoppage time.