Corinthians secure Copa Libertadores knockout-stage berth

April 12th, 2012 - 6:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Rio de Janeiro, April 12 (IANS) Corinthians secured their passage to the next phase of the Copa Libertadores with a 3-1 away victory over Paraguay’s Nacional.

Jorge Henrique returned from injury to score Corinthians’ first goal in Ciudad del Este with a low finish from the edge of the area after 29 minutes Wednesday.

Emerson doubled the lead six minutes into the second half with a cool finish after rounding goalkeeper Ignacio Don.

On 68 minutes, Nacional’s Horacio Peralta’s launched himself sideways with a spectacular strike to give the home side a flicker of hope.

But Elton sealed the win for the Brazilians when he tapped his team’s third into an unguarded net.

“We didn’t pass the ball well early and Nacional surprised us by defending further up the pitch,” Corinthians coach Tite was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

“After half-time we gradually improved and we finished the better team with the last goal of the match.”

Corinthians are now top of group six with 11 points from five matches with Mexico’s Cruz Azul second on eight points.

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