River Plate, Sao Paulo secure Libertadores knockout berths

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Buenos Aires, April 22 (IANS) Andres D’Alessandro struck a first-half brace as defending champions River Plate clinched top spot in their Copa Libertadores football group with a 4-3 victory over 10-man Trujillanos.

The former Argentina international midfielder scored twice in the opening 20 minutes at the Monumental stadium here on Thursday before Maurice Cova struck for Trujillanos on the half-hour mark, reports Xinhua news agency.

The Venezuelan outfit were then reduced to 10-men when Gerardo Mendoza was shown his second yellow card in as many minutes.

Camilo Mayada and Lucas Alario extended the hosts’ lead just after half time, but Franklin Gonzalez and James Cabezas netted in quick succession for the visitors.

River survived a tense final 15 minutes to win their third match of the campaign and ensure their passage to the knockout phase.

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Brazil’s Sao Paulo also advanced to the next stage of South America’s top club competition by holding Bolivia’s The Stongest to a 1-1 draw in La Paz.



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