Penarol fall at first hurdle, Sao Caetano qualify
RIO DE JANEIRO, April 15 (Reuters) - Five-times former champions
Penarol were knocked out of the South American Libertadores Cup at the first hurdle on Thursday despite registering a 2-0 victory over America.
The Uruguay champions were eliminated on goals scored after Brazil's Sao Caetano won 2-0 away to The Strongest, their second goal coming from striker Warley on the break in the 83rd minute.
Sao Caetano and Penarol finished level in Group 1 on eight points and a goal difference of two but the unfashionable Brazilian club took second place by scoring ten goals to Penarol's nine.
Sao Caetano, whose home matches rarely attract more than 3,000 fans, are guaranteed to finish as one of the worst four second-placed teams in the nine groups, which means they will have to playoff for a place in the last sixteen.
Mexico's America, who fielded a reserve team against Penarol, had already won the group with a game to spare.
Despite America's generosity, Penarol, who won the last of their Libertadores titles in 1987, left it too late at the historic Centenario stadium in Montevideo.
The home team finally broke the deadlock when striker Carlos Bueno in the 83rd minute. The same player added the second seven minutes later.
Striker Somalia gave Sao Caetano, beaten finalists in 2002, a ninth-minute lead in La Paz, at 3,600 metres above sea level.
The Strongest, who also had an outside of qualifying, rarely threatened and were reduced to ten men when Argentine defender Nicolas Sartori was sent off for a dangerous, flying tackle in the 78th minute.
Sao Caetano, who had twice been foiled by the linesman's flag as they broke out of defence, scored what turned out to be their crucial goal with another breakaway in the 83rd minute.
This time, the flag stayed down and striker Warley calmly placed the ball past Mauricio Soria.