Libertad beat Atletico Nacional to eye group stage


ASUNCION, April 7 (Xinhua) — A late strike from defender Cristian Baez handed Libertad a 1-0 home win over Atletico Nacional in the first leg of their Copa Libertadores qualifier here on Wednesday.

The Paraguayan side broke the deadlock in the 78th minute when Baez bundled home from close range after Daniel Bocanegra’s free-kick was parried into his path by goalkeeper Aldair Quintana.

The return leg will be played at Nacional’s Atanasio Girardot stadium in the Colombian city of Medellin on April 14. The winner on aggregate will earn a place in the Copa Libertadores group stage, which begins on April 20.

On Tuesday, Brazil’s Santos took a major step toward a place in the main draw with a 3-1 away win over Argentine side San Lorenzo.

In other first-leg qualifiers, Bolivar will host Junior Barranquilla on Thursday and Independiente del Valle will clash with Gremio on Friday.



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