BOGOTÁ ( Associated Press) — Despite missing three of its regular starters, River Plate thrashed Colo Colo 4-0 on Thursday to advance from Group F to the Copa Libertadores round of 16.
The “millionaire” team, which had the losses of Franco Armani and Tomás Pochettino (Covid-19), as well as Enzo Pérez (suspension), won in Buenos Aires with goals from Agustín Palavecino (42), Nicolás De la Cruz (52), David Martínez (66) and Esequiel Barco (68).
“Finishing in first place is important for what is to come in the round of 16. As a group we owed each other a joy”, said midfielder Nicolás De la Cruz.
River added 13 points and became the fourth Argentine team to qualify for the next phase, after Estudiantes de La Plata, Talleres de Córdoba and Colón de Santa Fe.
For his part, Colo Colo was left with seven units, the same as Fortaleza, with whom the classification will be played next week in Santiago de Chile.
Deportivo Cali got a valuable 3-0 win over Always Ready and rose to first place in Group E, making life difficult for Boca Juniors.
The Colombian team prevailed with goals from Jhon Vásquez (12 and 55) and Harold Mosquera (74).
The Bolivian cast finished with 10 players after defender Marc Enoumba was sent off for a double warning after 70 minutes.
With this victory, Deportivo Cali reached 8 points, the same as Corinthians, but with a better goal difference than the Brazilians (+2 to +1).
Boca Juniors (7) was momentarily in the third box and out of the places of access to the round of 16.
Next Thursday, May 26, the last date of the group will be played, in which the classifieds will be known. Boca Juniors and Deportivo Cali will meet in Buenos Aires, while Corinthians will host the already eliminated Always Ready in Sao Paulo.
Atlético Mineiro defeated Independiente del Valle 3-1, thus securing its ticket to the round of 16 and reaching 18 matches without defeats in the Libertadores, the longest undefeated in the history of the tournament, which it shared with Sporting Cristal (1962- 1969) and Flamengo (2020-2021).
Striker Hulk, after two assists from Allan, signed the first goals for the “Galo” at 9 and 56 minutes.
The Ecuadorian team discounted through William Vargas (82), but the locals secured the win with a great goal from Savio in stoppage time (90+6).
“We had 11 very clear scoring situations. We could have finished 4-1 or 5-1. I’m leaving calmly,” said Antonio Mohamed, coach of the Minas Gerais club.
With this result, Atlético Mineiro, as leader of Group D, joined Palmeiras and Flamengo as the Brazilians who have already advanced to the round of the 16 best.