RONALDO PUTS CORINTHIANS AHEAD
Ronaldo (C) of Brazil's Corinthians challenges Miguel Torren (L) and Julio Dos Santos of Paraguay's Cerro Porteno during their Copa Libertadores soccer match in Asuncion March 17, 2010. Photo: REUTERS
Three-time world footballer of the year, Ronaldo LuÃs NazÃ¡rio de Lima, popularly called Ronaldo, proved that he still had something left to offer as he helped his club consolidate their lead in the Copa Libertadores Group 1 with a 1-0 win at Paraguayan side Cerro Porteno on Wednesday.
Elias nearly gave Corinthians an early lead when he connected with a fabulous ball from Roberto Carlos, but Diego Barreto made a smart save to keep the shot out.
However, the former Real Madrid and Inter Milan striker, who will be retiring next year, produced a superb performance for the Brazilian giants as he netted the winner in the 40th minute, after Danilo deflected the ball from a corner kick by Dentinho, which turned out to be the only goal that was produced in the game.
Corinthians collected seven points from two wins and a draw, and now have a four-point lead over Uruguay's Racing, who play Independiente Medellin of Colombia this night. Cerro Porteno, meanwhile, lies at the bottom with one point.
In Group 8, Universidad de Chile climbed to top spot, thanks to a 2-1 win over former leaders Flamengo. The Chilean side went ahead with a header by Eduardo Vargas after a Walter Montillo cross.
In the 50th minute, the Brazilian giants equalised through Rodrigo Alvim, who got the rebound after keeper Esteban Conde saved a Leo Moura attempt. However, Felipe Seymour gave Universidad the win four minutes later after Bruno failed to catch his long-distance shot.
Universidad de Chile now lead their group with seven points, one above Flamengo. In the same group, in Venezuela, hosts Caracas and Chile's Universidad Catolica played out a goalless draw to lie in the bottom two with one and two points, respectively.
Finally in Mexico, visitors Once Caldas remain at the summit in Group 2 as they drew 2-2 with hosts, Monterrey. Dayro Moreno put the Colombian side ahead early in the second minute but Osvaldo Martinez made the game even with a 19th-minute penalty.
Neri Cardozo gave the lead to Monterrey two minutes into the second half after a nice individual play, but Jaime Castrillon ensured Once Caldas took a point from the Estadio Tecnologico. Once Caldas lead the group with eight points, while Monterrey stay third with five, one below Brazilian giants Sao Paulo.