Fluminense, Gremio into Libertadores last 16

Rio de Janeiro, April 19 (IANS) Former Brazil international forward Rafael Sobis struck a second-half winner as Fluminense advanced to the Copa Libertadores knockout phase with a 1-0 victory over Caracas.

The result secured the Rio de Janeiro club top spot in their group ahead of Brazilian rivals Gremio, who also progressed after holding Huachipato to a 1-1 draw in Chile Thursday, reports Xinhua.

After a tense opening, Sobis broke the deadlock nine minutes into the second half with a low finish after Rhayner headed down a Carlinhos cross.

Fluminense will now meet Ecuador’s Emelec in the round of 16, with the advantage of playing the second match at home.

“You can’t choose who you play. We are just happy to go through,” Sobis said after the match. “Everybody said our group was easy but we had to work hard to make it through.”

In Peru, Palmeiras held on to top spot in their group despite a 0-1 loss to Sporting Cristal with a goal from Irven Avila. Argentina’s Tigre also earned a place in the next round with a 5-3 away victory over Paraguay’s Libertad.

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