Double pain for Alecsandro in Flamengo Libertadores exit


  • Football
  • Thursday, 10 Apr 2014

William Yarbrough of Mexico's Leon fails to make a save on a goal by Alecsandro (bottom R) of Brazil's Flamengo during their Copa Libertadores soccer match in Rio de Janeiro April 9, 2014. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - The pain Flamengo's Alecsandro felt getting three stitches in a head wound did not compare with his distress when his dream of winning a third Libertadores Cup with a different club was dashed by Leon.

The striker, a South American champion with his former Brazilian clubs Internacional in 2010 and present holders Atletico Mineiro, was on the losing side in Flamengo's 3-2 home defeat by the Mexican champions at the Maracana on Wednesday.

Mexican media are calling the result of the Group Seven decider another "Maracanazo", the term first coined after Uruguay's shock 2-1 victory over Brazil to lift their second World Cup crown at the giant stadium in 1950.

Flamengo, South American champions in 1981 in Zico's heyday, finished third in the group behind group winners Bolivar of Bolivia and Leon.

"I had three stitches without anaesthetic in the dressing room (at halftime)," the 33-year-old Alecsandro told reporters of the cut which occurred in a first half clash of heads with a team mate.

"I've got two Libertadores Cups and I'm left with a terrible pain because I know what it feels like to be South American champions.

"The fans left (the stadium) depressed, but we didn't lack fight or determination. We equalised twice but we have to congratulate our adversaries who played very well," added Alecsandro, who scored Flamengo's second goal in the 34th minute to put them level at 2-2.

Midfielder Carlos Pena, set to play for Mexico at the World Cup in Brazil, scored the winner six minutes from time.

SAINTS' JOY

Flamengo were not the only Brazilian team to fail to reach the last 16 with Botafogo also going out after a 3-0 defeat away to Argentine champions San Lorenzo in Buenos Aires in Group Two.

San Lorenzo scraped through, with Ignacio Piatti's decisive second goal one minute from time securing qualification by a goal difference of one over third placed Independiente del Valle of Ecuador.

Independiente missed out despite a remarkable 5-4 away win over already qualified group winners Union Espanola of Chile in Santiago, with four goals from striker Daniel Angulo Arroyo.

When Junior Sornoza's 78th minute penalty put Independiente 5-4 up they had looked set to qualify. The teams were equal on eight points with Independiente's goals record 10-10 to San Lorenzo's 5-5 until Piatti's last gasp decider made it 6-5.

Among the other teams to have reached the last 16 are Ronaldinho's holders Atletico Mineiro, fellow Brazilian two-times champions Gremio and Cruzeiro and 1994 winners Velez Sarsfield of Argentina.

Newell's Old Boys are at home to Atletico Nacional of Colombia in Rosario on Thursday with the winners joining Gremio in the last 16 from Group Six.

(Editing by Josh Reich)

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