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RIO DE JANEIRO, May 24 (Reuters) - Corinthians qualified for
the Libertadores Cup semifinals for the first time after beating fellow Brazilians Atletico Mineiro 2-1 on Tuesday for a 3-2 aggregate win.

Sao Paulo's best-supported club, winners of the inaugural world club championship in January, brushed aside Atletico's challenge with two first half goals in the second leg of the quarter-final played in a packed Morumbi stadium.

The first came in the seventh minute, when Edilson converted a left-wing cross from Kleber.

In the 20th minute, Edilson pounced on a mistake by Atletico's young centre half Gilberto Silveira, and put Ricardinho in space to score the second.

Atletico fought hard to find a way back into the game, with Ramon going close twice in the second half.

But with first-choice goalkeeper Dida absent on international duty, Corinthians' reserve Mauricio made a string of impressive saves.

He was finally beaten in the 66th minute when Guilherme scored from the spot.

Corinthians could face local rivals Palmeiras, who play Mexican club Atlas in a quarter-final on Thursday, in the semifinals. Palmeiras carry a 2-0 advantage from last week's first leg in Guadalajara, Mexico.
 
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