The first phase reaches its halfway mark this week with another round of intriguing fixtures to watch
The CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores is up and running once more, with the group stage now underway for 2021.
Thirty two teams from across the South American continent have won passage into the first round proper of the competition, either through automatic qualification or by fighting through Libertadores’ preliminary rounds.
Both the Argentine and Brazilian clubs have tasted glory in this tournament and will be desperate to make a claim for one of those spots with a strong performance.
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Copa Libertadores Group Stage: Round Three Fixtures
Group positions as of May 3 in (brackets)
Group A Date Time (US PT / ET) Match Channel May 4 5:30pm/8:30pm (2) Defensa y Justicia vs Palmeiras (1) Fanatiz May 5 4pm/7pm (3) Independiente del Valle vs Universitario (4) Fanatiz Group B Date Time (US PT / ET) Match Channel May 5 5pm/8pm (1) Internacional vs Olimpia (4) Fanatiz May 6 3pm/6pm (3) Dep. Tachira vs Always Ready (2) Fanatiz Group C Date Time (US PT / ET) Match Channel May 4 3:15pm/6:15pm (3) Santos vs The Strongest (4) Fanatiz May 4 5:30pm/8:30pm (1) Barcelona (ECU) vs Boca Juniors (2) Fanatiz Group D Date Time (US PT / ET) Match Channel May 5 5pm/8pm (=3) Santa Fe vs River Plate vs (=1) Fanatiz May 6 3pm/6pm (=1) Junior vs Fluminense (=3) Fanatiz Group E Date Time (US PT / ET) Match Channel May 5 3pm/6pm (2) Racing Club vs Sao Paulo (1) Fanatiz May 5 5pm/8pm (3) Rentistas vs Cristal (4) Fanatiz Group F Date Time (US PT / ET) Match Channel May 5 7pm/10pm (4) Universidad Catolica vs Nacional (3) Fanatiz May 6 5pm/8pm (2) Atletico Nacional vs Argentinos Juniors (1) Fanatiz Group G Date Time (US PT / ET) Match Channel May 4 3:15pm/6:15pm (3) La Calera vs Velez Sarsfield (4) Fanatiz May 4 5:30pm/8:30pm (2) LDU Quito vs Flamengo (1) Fanatiz Group H Date Time (US PT / ET) Match Channel May 4 3pm/6:15pm (2) Atletico Mineiro vs Cerro Porteno (1) Fanatiz May 6 7pm/10pm (3) La Guaira vs America de Cali (4) Fanatiz What has happened so far in the 2021 Copa Libertadores?
The 2021 Copa Libertadores began less than a month after the 2020 edition came to an end with Palmeiras’ narrow victory over Santos in the final, due to delays in its playing caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
On February 23 Uruguay’s Liverpool met Catolica of Ecuador in the opening match of the first preliminary phase, officially kicking off the new tournament.
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By March eight teams remained in the opening stage, hoping to join the 24 sides who had earned qualification automatically for the group stages based on their performances in domestic competition across the continent.
One of the most stunning results came for Independiente del Valle, who followed up their 2-1 defeat of mighty Gremio in Quito with an identical scoreline in the return leg in Porto Alegre, taking them through to the first round at the Brazilians’ expense.
Colombian duo Atletico Nacional and Junior and beaten 2020 finalists Santos also progressed from the final qualifying phase, eliminating Libertad, Bolivar and San Lorenzo respectively. The beaten four teams thus entered the first group stage in the remodelled Copa Sudamericana.
The first round of group fixtures did not disappoint, with a string of surprising results.
Santos came unstuck at home to Ecuador’s Barcelona while Always Ready, playing the Libertadores for the first time in 54 years, downed Internacional in La Paz. Boca Juniors, meanwhile, fared rather better in the Bolivian capital, beating The Strongest to mark their first win in the city since 1970.
There was further disappointment for Santos in week two as they went down to Boca, but generally Brazil’s contingent has made a strong start to the competition.
Sao Paulo, Flamengo and Palmeiras all lead their groups with maximum points and Inter – who recovered to beat Deportivo Tachira last week – are also top in Group B, while Fluminense and Atletico Mineiro retain their unbeaten records after two rounds.
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