Declared winners of last year’s Sudamericana Cup after that tragic air crash on their way to the Final, Chapecoense’s defence of their title ended meekly.
They failed to reach the quarterfinals after an emphatic 4-0 loss to fellow Brazilian side Flamengo, who now meet local rivals Fluminense, who needed a late away goal to creep past LDU of Ecuador and gain revenge after losing the Final of the 2008 Libertadores and the 2009 Sudamericana to the same opposition.
Their half of the draw is completed by another Brazilian team, Sport of Recife, who produced the latest in a string of backs-to-the-wall performances to see off compatriots Ponte Preta. Their next opponents are Junior of Colombia, who showed their extensive attacking resources in a 3-1 second-leg win over Cerro Porteno of Paraguay.
There was Paraguayan success over Colombia elsewhere as Libertad saw off Santa Fe 2-1 on aggregate, while compatriots Nacional did wonderfully well to beat Estudiantes of Argentina both home and away.
Both Paraguayan sides now face Argentinian opposition. Nacional will play Independiente, who put an end to a lively first year’s international competition for compatriots Atletico Tucuman, while Libertad are up against Racing, who produced two disciplined displays to eliminate Brazilian league leaders Corinthians.
Out... Chapecoense (in white) lost to Flamengo