Soccer-Fluminense win sets Brazilian record in Copa Libertadores

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazilian side Fluminense beat Cerro Porteno 1-0 on Tuesday to move into the quarter-finals of the Copa Libertadores and ensure that for the first time in the tournament’s history five of the final eight are from one country.

The other four Brazilian teams in what is considered the South American version of the Champions League are Atletico Mineiro, Flamengo, Sao Paulo and reigning champions Palmeiras.

They are joined by River Plate from Argentina, Olimpia of Paraguay and Ecuadoran club Barcelona.

The first leg of the quarter-final ties take place next week.

Brazil’s dominance is just the latest illustration of how the region’s biggest nation, and to a lesser extent Argentina as well, are taking increasing control of South America’s club competitions.

All eight of the last Libertadores finalists have come from Brazil or Argentina, with Brazilian teams winning three of the last four titles.

In the Copa Sudamericana, South America’s equivalent of the Europa League, six of the last eight finalists have been from Brazil or Argentina and only one of the last five winners was from elsewhere, with that one being from Ecuador.

Fluminense is one of only two of the big Rio clubs not to have won the Libertadores but a goal from Fred gave them a 1-0 win at the Maracana stadium on Tuesday and a 3-0 aggregate victory.

(Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)


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