Sudamericana: Estudiantes, Argentinos Jrs. in semis

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RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) -- Argentina's Estudiantes drew 2-2 with Botafogo of Brazil on Wednesday to advance to the Copa Sudamericana semifinals.

Estudiantes won the first quarterfinals match against Botafogo 2-0 on Oct. 21 in La Plata, meaning the Brazilians had to win by three goals to clinch a semifinals berth.

Estudiantes defender Marcos Angeleri opened the scoring in the third minute when took the ball down the right side of the field virtually unchallenged and fired the ball into the net.

Midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron extended the lead in the 36th minute when he collected a pass from Uruguayan striker Juan Manuel Salgueiro sent it into the left side of goal.

Botafogo midfielder Lucio Flavio scored on a penalty in the 58th minute after Renato Silva was knocked to the ground near the goal, and defender Andre Luis found the equalizer in the 66th.

Flavio narrowly missed two scoring opportunities in the 27th and 55th minutes.

Salgueiro almost picked up Estudiantes' third goal in the 38th minute, but his attempt was saved by goalkeeper Renan.

No Brazilian club has won the Copa Sudamericana in the six-year history of South America's second tier continental club competition, behind the Copa Libertadores. Clubs from Argentina have taken home the trophy four times.

Argentinos Juniors qualified for the semifinals of the competition after a one-sided 3-0 aggregate victory over Palmeiras, a side that is still on course for the Campeonato Brasileiro this season.

The Argentine side proved superior to their opponents, and went on to record a comfortable 2-0 victory with first-half goals from Andres Scotti (9') and Nicolas Pavlovich (18'). Both goals came from headers.

Ever since taking an early lead, Argentinos completely dominated the Brazilians, and if they were more efficient when in front of goal they could have won the match by a greater difference.

Nestor Gorosito's side had won the first leg of the tie 1-0 at the Palestra Italia in Sao Paulo. They have been struggling in the Argentine Apertura Championship this season, but the fact that Palmeiras played both legs with reserves gave them great possibilities of going through in the first place.

Argentinos Juniors will face fellow Argentines Estudiantes de La Plata in the semi-finals of the Copa Sudamericana, with the first leg being in La Paternal. Estudiantes advanced to the semi-finals after a 4-2 aggregate victory over Botafogo over the two legs. --