Palmeiras’ Mayke (left) and Emelec's Joao Rojas (right) vie for the ball during their Copa Libertadores group stage football match, at the George Capwell stadium in Guayaquil, Ecuador, on April 27, 2022. (RODRIGO BUENDIA / AFP)
GUAYAQUIL - Defending champions Palmeiras took a major step toward qualifying for the Copa Libertadores knockout stage with a 3-1 victory at Ecuador's Emelec on Thursday.
Rony Barbosa put the Brazilian side ahead with a 19th-minute header and Gabriel Veron doubled the lead shortly after with a low finish on the counterattack
Rony Barbosa put the Brazilian side ahead with a 19th-minute header and Gabriel Veron doubled the lead shortly after with a low finish on the counterattack.
Joao Rojas reduced the deficit just after the hour mark, slotting home after combining with Jose Cevallos. But Palmeiras put the result beyond doubt when Breno Lopez fired a shot past goalkeeper Pedro Ortiz from distance.
Palmeiras, who are aiming to win the Copa Libertadores for a third straight year, now have three wins from as many fixtures in Group A.
Fortaleza’s Moises (left) and Alianza Lima’s Yordi Vilchez (right) vie for the ball during their Copa Libertadores group stage football match, at the Arena Castelao stadium in Fortaleza, Brazil, on April 27, 2022. (STEPHAN EILERT / AFP)
Meanwhile, River Plate also made it three wins from three games with a 2-1 victory over Colo Colo in Chilean capital Santiago.
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In other Copa Libertadores fixtures on Thursday, Fortaleza won 2-1 at home to Alianza Lima, Atletico Mineiro drew 1-1 at Independiente del Valle and the Strongest were held to a 1-1 home draw by Caracas FC.
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