Continental champions like the Brazilians Santos, Inter and Sao Paulo and the Argentines Independiente and Defensa y Justicia give flight to the competitive group stage of the Copa Sudamericana-2022, which begins this week.
Except for the humble Defense and Justice, holder of the Copa Sudamericana in 2020 and the Recopa Sudamericana in 2021, the rest of the historical ones have lived better times and seek to vindicate themselves in the second most important club competition on the continent.
This is the case of Independiente, leader of the winners of the Libertadores (7 titles) and co-leader of the South American (2), which visits Ceará on Tuesday in Fortaleza (northeast of Brazil) at the beginning of the road to try to regain its international brilliance.
Known as the King of Cups, Independent He achieved his last international title in the South American in 2017, but his present is one of persistent suffering.
Something similar happens with São Paulo, that in 2005 he stopped in his third Libertadores crown and stopped being among the most influential clubs in the continent.
Now the São Paulo team begins a steep path in the South American 2022 cWith a complicated premiere on Thursday at the height of Cusco (3,400 masl) against the Peruvian Ayacucho.
To that is added the hard blow that the team led by Rogerio Ceni received on Sundaywhich was beaten 4-0 by the powerful Palmeiras, current two-time champion of the Americas, in the second leg of the final of the São Paulo tournament, which they dreamed of conquering after winning 3-1 in the first leg.
Santos, far from Pelé’s glory years and later of Neymar, from time to time he threatens to return to his years of splendor, as when he was a finalist for the Libertadores in 2020, but his walk is erratic.
He awaits him on Tuesday in the debut in the group zone an awkward rival like Banfield, who covers the middle of the table in the Argentine tournament and is going for his second experience in the South American.
– League, in the discussion –
Among the favorite Argentine and Brazilian teams Liga de Quito sneaks in, champion of the Libertadores in 2008 and the South American in 2009. The Ecuadorian club appeals to an effective formula: it is a competitive team and takes advantage of the height of Quito (2,850 meters above sea level).
League will visit inexperienced Atlético Goianiense on Tuesday of Brazil with the possibility of marking territory from the start of this instance.
The group stage of the second South American club competition It will be held from April 5 to May 26.
Only the winners of each of the eight groups will qualify for the round of 16, where they will meet those who finish third in the group stage of the Copa Libertadores.
The only final of the contest will be played on October 1 at the Mané Garrincha stadium in Brasilia.
— Matches of the first date of the group stage of the Copa Sudamericana:
Thursday 20:30, in Guayaquil: Barcelona (ECU) – Wanderers (URU)
Thursday 8:30 p.m., in Caracas: Metropolitanos (VEN) – Lanús (ARG)
Thursday 18:15, in Cuiabá: Cuiabá (BRA) – Melgar (PER)
Thursday 18:15, in Montevideo: River Plate (URU) – Racing (ARG)
Tuesday 18:15, in Quito: Catholic University (ECU) – Union La Calera (CHI)
Tuesday 18:15, in Buenos Aires: Banfield (ARG) – Santos (BRA)
Tuesday 8:30 p.m., in Viña del Mar: Everton (CHI) – Jorge Wilstermann (BOL)
Thursday 20:30, in Cusco: Ayacucho (PER) – Sao Paulo (BRA)
Wednesday 20:30, in Quito: October 12 (ECU) – International (BRA)
Thursday 20:30, in Asunción: Guaireña (PAR) – Independiente Medellín (COL)
Tuesday 8:30 p.m., in Goiania: Atlético Goianiense (BRA) – Liga de Quito (ECU)
Wednesday 8:30 p.m., in Antofagasta: Antofagasta (CHI) – Defense and Justice (ARG)
Tuesday 18:15, in Fortaleza: Ceará (BRA) – Independent (ARG)
Wednesday 18:15, in Asunción: General Caballero (PAR) – Deportivo La Guaira (VEN)
Wednesday 18:15, in Rio de Janeiro: Fluminense (BRA) – Oriente Petrolero (BOL)
Wednesday 18:15, in Santa Fe: Union (ARG) – Junior (COL)