Corinthians shock Santos in Libertadores semis

June 14th, 2012 - 6:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Rio de Janeiro, June 14 (IANS) Striker Emerson scored a wonder goal but was sent off as Corinthians earned a 1-0 victory over defending champions Santos in their Copa Libertadores semi-final first-leg.

Emerson gave the visitors the lead after 27 minutes at the Vila Belmiro stadium by unleashing a curling 25-metre strike into the corner, leaving Santos goalkeeper Rafael with no chance Wednesday.

But he went from hero to villain when he was shown a red card for his second bookable offence after a reckless 76th-minute tackle on Santos star Neymar, reported Xinhua.

Emerson will now be unavailable for the return match at the Pacaembu stadium in Sao Paulo next Wednesday.

The game was stopped for almost half an hour with only minutes remaining due to a partial power failure which left half of the pitch in darkness.

Neymar, who started the match with seven goals from 10 games in the tournament, was marked out of the match by a close knit Corinthians defence.

His Brazil international teammate Paulo Henrique Ganso, returning after undergoing surgery on his right knee May 25, also struggled to assert his usual influence.

Corinthians coach Tite played down the significance of the result when interviewed by TV journalists after the match.

“Nobody should be congratulating anybody. We haven’t won anything yet,” Tite said.

Defender Fabio Santos was more effusive.

“We knew it would be difficult to get this result and even more so to not concede a goal against a team with so much offensive talent,” Santos said.

“It was a fantastic result and fully deserved for the way we played.”

Argentina’s Boca Juniors will host Universidad de Chile in the other semi-final Thursday night.

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