Soccer-Atletico miss penalty in 0-0 draw with Palmeiras

Soccer Football - Copa Libertadores - Semi final - First Leg - Palmeiras v Atletico Mineiro - Allianz Parque, Sao Paulo, Brazil - September 21, 2021 Atletico Mineiro's Hulk in action with Palmeiras' Felipe Melo Pool via REUTERS/Fernando Bizerra

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Defending champions Palmeiras drew the first leg of their Copa Libertadores semi-final 0-0 at home to Atletico Mineiro on Tuesday but were lucky to avoid defeat as the visitors missed a penalty.

Atletico, the runaway leaders of the Brazilian league, missed the best chance of the game three minutes before half time when Hulk fired a penalty kick against the woodwork.

There were few other chances in a truncated match that was played in a stadium without fans due to continuing COVID-19 restrictions in Sao Paulo.

However, next week’s second leg in Belo Horizonte will have fans present due to different rules there. Atletico have sold 18,000 tickets for the return at the Mineirao stadium.

The other semi-final of what is the South American equivalent of the Champions League kicks off tomorrow between Flamengo and Ecuadoran club Barcelona.

(Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Michael Perry)

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