Copa Libertadores review

Copa Lib: Atletico seal last-16 spot

March 14, 2013
By ESPN Staff

Brazil club Atletico Mineiro became the first team to qualify for the Copa Libertadores last-16 after beating Bolivian side The Strongest 2-1.

Atletico Mineiro's Diego Tardelli and Ronaldinho celebrate their side's opening goal
AP / Juan KaritaAtletico Mineiro's Diego Tardelli and Ronaldinho celebrate their side's opening goal

An early Diego Tardelli strike gave the Brazilians the best possible start to the match before The Strongest hit back just before half-time through Harold Reina.

But an own-goal from The Strongest defender Luis Mendez with just eight minutes remaining proved fatal for the Bolivians.

The victory took Atletico Mineiro to 12 points from four games.

"This is a great night for us," Tardelli told Fox Sports. "It was a very tough game like the one we played in Belo Horizonte (against The Strongest a week ago).

"We came to La Paz five days before the game to get used to the geographical conditions and we go back to Brazil with a victory.

"We want the Libertadores trophy. We have a strong team and we prove it game by game."

Reigning champions Corinthians handed out a 3-0 drubbing to Group Five leaders Tijuana, and in the process, narrowed the gap to the table-topping Mexicans to just two points.

Former AC Milan forward Alexandre Pato put Corinthians ahead before Paolo Guerrero made it a 2-0 advantage.

Paulinho rounded out the scoring for the Brazilians late in the match.

Paraguayan giants Olimpia grabbed the leadership of Group Seven with a 5-1 win at Deportivo Lara.

Wilson Pittoni (2), Freddy Bareiro, Herminio Miranda and Lorenzo Aranda were all on target for Olimpia, while Yuber Mosquera's solitary goal was scant consolation for Deportivo Lara.

Finally, Ecuador side Barcelona and Mexico's Toluca played out a goalless draw in Guayaquil.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.