BUENOS AIRES ( Associated Press) — Palmeiras of Brazil will embark on the journey to its third consecutive continental title against Cerro Porteño of Paraguay, while six-time champion Boca Juniors will meet Corinthians of Brazil again in two of the most attractive matches of the round of 16 of the Copa Libertadores.
The draw that took place on Friday at the CONMEBOL headquarters in Asunción, Paraguay, defined the crosses between the 16 survivors of the group stage of the most important club tournament in South America.
The “Verdao”, champion in 1999, 2020 and 2021, closed the classification with an ideal score (18) and goal record (25) in its area, emerging as the top favorite against a Paraguayan team that got a ticket with eight units and just five goals for.
Boca, obsessed with lifting the seventh continental trophy, achieved classification on the last date after beating Deportivo Cali 1-0 the day before. It will now be measured against the club that finished second in its zone. This duel has become a classic since the Paulistas snatched the title from the Boquenses in the 2012 final.
In the group stage, Corinthians won at home and tied in the visit to La Bombonera in Buenos Aires.
After Palmeiras, River Plate and Flamengo were the two best teams in the group round. The millionaires, with four Olympic laps in Libertadores, will face their compatriot Vélez Sarsfield, winner of the contest in 1994. Beyond the fact that the history and individual hierarchy outline River as a favorite, the crosses between teams from the same country entail additional difficulties.
Flamengo, winner in 1981 and 2019 and runner-up in 2021, will play Colombia’s Deportes Tolima.
The four-time champion Estudiantes will face a Fortaleza led by the Argentine Juan Pablo Vojvoda.
In turn, Atlético Mineiro from Brazil, champion in 2013, will clash against Emelec from Ecuador.
Colón and Talleres, two modest Argentine soccer teams, will star in the other cross between clubs from the same country in the round of 16.
The picture is completed with Libertad from Paraguay against Paranaense from Brazil.
The teams that finished first in their area will define the local series.
The round of 16 starts the last week of June and is defined the first of July. As of this edition, the away goal advantage no longer runs in the event of a tie.
The final of the contest is scheduled for June 29 in Guayaquil, Ecuador.