Sao Paulo face Libertadores exit after loss

La Paz, April 5 (IANS) Three-time champions Sao Paulo face an uphill battle to progress to the Copa Libertadores knockout phase after a 1-2 defeat to The Strongest.

A Rogerio Ceni penalty on the stroke of half-time cancelled out Nelvin Soliz’s thumping left-foot drive Thursday before Ernesto Cristaldo struck the winner for the Bolivian side with a long-range effort into the top corner, reports Xinhua.

Sao Paulo are now third in Group 3, two points behind The Strongest and 11 points shy of runaway leaders Atletico Mineiro with just one group stage match remaining. The top two teams progress to the Round of 16.

Sao Paulo will host Ronaldinho’s Atletico Mineiro April 17 while The Strongest are away to Arsenal de Sarandi the same day.

In other matches, Nacional defeated Toluca 4-0, Newell’s Old Boys overcame Deportivo Lara 3-1 and Olimpia won away to Universidad de Chile 1-0.

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