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Football

Fans riot after Libertadores loss


RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil -- America fans rioted and invaded the pitch after the team were knocked out of the Libertadores Cup by Sao Caetano of Brazil in Mexico City on Tuesday night.

Dozens of home fans wearing their yellow and blue colours knocked down the fencing behind one of the goals, negotiated the moat and ran on to the field after the final whistle.

Other fans threw objects, including plastic seats and wheelbarrows, at riot police after the 1-1 draw sent Sao Caetano through.

Sao Caetano players were also seen brawling with opposing officials at the end of a bad-tempered game in which America striker Cuauhtemoc Blanco was sent off for elbowing an opponent.

America, trailing 2-1 from last week's first leg, went ahead when Chilean striker Reinaldo Navia spun on to a German Villa pass and turned the ball past Silvio Luiz in the 20th minute.

But the team, coached by Dutchman Leo Beenhakker, were caught on the break in the 79th minute as Triguinho burst through the defence to equalize for Sao Caetano, who eliminated America in the semifinals two years ago.

America's desperation culminated in Mexican international Blanco elbowing Anderson Lima and being sent off in injury time.

Seconds later, the Brazilians were lucky not to have a penalty awarded against them for handball by Anderson Lima.

Furious Mexicans

Mexico's other representatives in the competition, Santos Laguna, lost 4-2 on penalties to Argentina's River Plate after winning their second leg 2-1 in Buenos Aires.

The Mexicans were furious after goalkeeper Cristian Lucchetti saved River Plate's third penalty, from Daniel Montenegro, only for the referee to order a re-take. Montenegro scored at the second attempt.

Santos Laguna, 1-0 behind from the first leg, levelled the aggregate score with a Hector Altamirano free kick in the 25th minute.

Matias Vuouso put them ahead early in the second half but River forced penalties when Chilean international striker Marcelo Salas scored from close range with 16 minutes left.

Brazilian club Santos, last year's runners-up, clawed back a 4-2 deficit from the first leg to beat Ecuadorean champions Liga de Quito 2-0 and then go through on penalties.

Diego put Santos ahead in the second minute and added another five minutes after halftime to level the aggregate score.

Liga's Alfonso Obregon put his penalty wide in the shootout as the Brazilians won 5-3.


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