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Palmeiras edges Sport 1-0 in Copa Libertadores

Palmeiras edges Sport 1-0 in Copa Libertadores

Substitute striker Jose Maria Ortigoza posted a 75th-minute goal for Palmeiras to beat fellow Brazilian side Sport 1-0 as the third round of the Copa Libertadores got under way on Tuesday.
After beating Sport in Sao Paulo for the first time in six years, 1999 Copa Libertadores champion Palmeiras can afford a draw in the second leg next week in the northeastern city of Recife to advance to the quarterfinals of the Latin American championship.
Ortigoza, who entered the match to replace midfielder Marquinhos in the 64th, headed in a cross by midfielder Cleiton Xavier.
"It was a very important goal," Ortigoza said. "It helped us win at home and earn an important advantage."
Sport, playing in the round of 16 for the first time, went a man down just before the goal when midfielder Hamilton was sent off because of a hard sliding tackle for which he received his second yellow card. Palmeiras scored on the ensuing free kick.
In front of its fans, Palmeiras dominated most of the match at Palestra Italia Stadium.
Striker Keirrison had the team's first chance in the fifth minute, hitting the crossbar from close range after a cross into the penalty area.
One of Sport's few opportunities came in the 26th with a long-range shot by striker Wilson that made Palmeiras' World Cup goalkeeper Marcos produce a tough save.
Midfielder Marquinhos nearly got on the board for Palmeiras in the 53rd, but his shot from inside the area was cleared just in front of the goalmouth. Midfielder Diego Souza's one-timer from close range in the 62nd also just barely missed.
Playing a man up, Palmeiras had a few other chances after the goal but failed to capitalize. Souza hit the post with a header in the 90th.
It was the third match between the Brazilian rivals in this year's Copa Libertadores. Palmeiras beat Sport 2-0 in Recife in their first match in Group 1, then Sport earned a hard-fought 1-1 draw in Sao Paulo despite playing the entire second half with 10 men. Sport advanced in first place and Palmeiras in second.
Palmeiras got the win despite playing without suspended defender Marcao, who was red-carded in the match against Colo Colo. Sport coach Nelsinho Baptista had all his players available.
Former Spartak Moscow midfielder Mozart, added to Palmeiras' roster to replace injured World Cup defender Edmilson, entered the match in the second half to make his debut with the club.
After losing its first two matches in the groups stage, Palmeiras just barely advanced thanks to a dramatic long-range shot by Xavier in the 87th against Colo Colo in Chile.
Two Copa Libertadores matches involving Mexican teams have been delayed because of swine flu fears. The matches between San Luis and Nacional of Uruguay and Chivas and Sao Paulo of Brazil have not been scheduled yet.
The match between Defensor Sporting of Uruguay and Boca Juniors of Argentina was delayed a week because the stadium in Montevideo was already booked for another event.