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Friday, April 23, 2010
Guadalajara, San Luis learn Libertadores foes

By Scott French

Mexico's final two entrants in Copa Libertadores face stiff opposition when the tournament's knockout phase begins next week.


Guadalajara and San Luis, who received byes into the third phase of South America's club championship, learned their paths toward this summer's final when group play concluded Thursday night.


Chivas, as Guadalajara is popularly known, will meet Argentina's Velez Sarsfield, seeded fourth in the bracket, in a home-and-home, total-goals series. San Luis, from San Luis Potosi, will face Argentina's Estudiantes de La Plata, the third seed and defending champion. Chivas is seeded 13th and San Luis 14th.


CONMEBOL, South America's soccer confederation, has scheduled round-of-16 first-leg games next Wednesday and second legs on May 5, but it's expected some games will be played on Tuesday and Thursday of both weeks. The Mexican clubs, as lower seeds, would be home for the first leg.


Chivas and San Luis were awarded round-of-16 berths after pulling out of last year's tournament because of concerns about the swine-flu epidemic. Both clubs had reached the same stage, but their opponents refused to travel to Mexico and agreements on alternative venues could not be reached. Both teams retained their 2009 seeds.


Mexico's other three entrants failed to reach the knockout stage. Estudiantes Tecos was eliminated in the first stage, falling in a two-leg series against Peru's Juan Aurich, and Monterrey and Morelia finished third in their groups during the second stage. Group winners and six of eight second-place teams advanced to the knockout phase.


Brazil's Corinthians and Sao Paulo were seeded first and second. Five Brazilian clubs remain alive.


Quarterfinals are scheduled for May 12 and 20, semifinals for July 28 and Aug. 4 and the final series for Aug. 11 and 18.

The bracket:

Corinthians (Brazil) vs. Flamengo (Brazil)

Universidad de Chile (Chile) vs. Alianza Lima (Peru)

Libertad (Paraguay) vs. Once Caldas (Colombia)

Velez Sarsfield (Argentina) vs. Guadalajara (Mexico)

Estudiantes de La Plata (Argentina) vs. San Luis (Mexico)

Internacional (Brazil) vs. Banfield (Argentina)

Nacional (Uruguay) vs. Cruzeiro (Brazil)

Sao Paulo (Brazil) vs. Universitario (Peru)