Soccer Down Here
Libertadores, Matchday 6
Final matches of the group stage of the 2020 Copa Libertadores start on Tuesday this week with many positions still up for grabs. The top two in each group move to the knockout rounds, the third place team heads to the Copa Sudamericana. The knockout round draw will take place on Friday.
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Defensa y Justicia control the 2nd spot in Group G, but travel to Brazil to face the group winners Santos. Will the Brazilians field their strongest team as they fight to move up the table in the Brasileiro? Olimpia and Delfín hope so because a Santos win or a draw open up the possibilities Defensa to fall out of the second slot. Delfín has to win in Paraguay to have a chance, but a draw could be enough for Olimpia if Defensa loses by multiple goals. TUESDAY, 8:30pm
Group C is completely unsettled with everyone having something to play for on the final matchday. Peñarol (currently 3rd) host group leaders Athletico Paranaense while surprise 2nd place Jorge Wilstermann head to Chile to face Colo-Colo. Can the Bolivian fairytale continue for Jorge Wilstermann after their surprising draw in Brazil in Matchday 5? Will Peñarol and Colo-Colo flip the table on its head with wins in the final matchday? They can't catch Paranaense, but they can make the second place battle very interesting.
At the same time, River Plate will be hosting LDU Quito with an opportunity to jump them to win Group D. Both will be advancing to the knockout round regardless of the result. São Paulo hosts Binacional as they should lock up their berth in the Copa Sudamericana.
Group F has little business left to be sorted out. Racing and Nacional will be advancing to the knockout round, but are level on points at the top of the table. They're also level on goal differential and goals scored. Both are at home on the final matchday and will be scoreboard watching to know if they need more goals in matches they should win. Alianza Lima has to win in Uruguay and flip the goal differential to pass Estudiantes de Mérida for the Sudamericana berth. WEDNESDAY, 8:30pm
Group A still has some drama remaining on the final matchday. Flamengo tops the group with 12 points and hosts Junior (3rd place, 6 points). Independiente del Valle can still top the group with a win over Barcelona (4th place, 3 points) in an all-Ecuador battle. The teams hosting are favored and should take care of business to lock in their knockout round berths, which would put Junior into the Sudamericana. Group B is mostly sorted out with Palmeiras and Guaraní locked into knockout round berths, and most likely in that order. It would take a shocking loss by Palmeiras to last place Tigre and a big Guaraní win over Bolívar on the road. The Bolivians should seal their Sudamericana berth as well.
Boca Juniors has assured themselves of the top spot in Group H, but the drama is for second place. Caracas has the spot right now due to goals scored, but have to get a historic result at La Bombonera against Boca to secure it. Libertad is at home, level with Caracas on points, and hosting last place Independiente Medellín. Grêmio leads Group E and will play in the knockout round, but they might not win the group. They host 3rd place América de Cali, who needs a big win to have any chance to jumping into second place. América de Cali would also need Internacional to lose on the road to Universidad Católica, who still has a chance at earning a Sudamerica slot.