Guerrero fires Internacional into Libertadores knockout phase

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-10 11:31:05|Editor: Lu Hui
Video PlayerClose

PORTO ALEGRE, April 9 (Xinhua) -- Peru captain Paolo Guerrero scored twice as Brazil's Internacional secured a berth in the Copa Libertadores knockout stage with a 3-2 victory over Chilean side Palestino on Tuesday.

Patrick Bezerra opened the scoring from close range at Internacional's Beira Rio stadium before Guerrero, playing in just his second match since returning from a doping ban, coolly slotted his team's second goal after a counterattack.

Julian Fernandez and Lucas Passerini netted either side of halftime to equalize for the visitors but Guerrero restored the hosts' lead with a 66th-minute header.

Internacional were reduced to 10 men with nine minutes left when Guilherme Parede was shown a second yellow card for a rash challenge. But the two-time Libertadores champions held their nerve to secure their third win from four matches and move six points clear at the top of Group A.

Guerrero, Peru's all-time leading scorer, was banned for a year by FIFA after testing positive for cocaine metabolite benzoylecgonine after a World Cup qualifier in October 2017.

The suspension was halved after an appeal but the Court of Arbitration for Sport extended it to 14 months at the behest of the World Anti-Doping Agency, which successfully argued the sentence had been too lenient.

Guerrero, who says he unwittingly consumed the substance in a herbal tea, was cleared to play at last year's World Cup in Russia on compassionate grounds.

He scored on his return to football last Saturday, helping Internacional to a 2-0 win over local rivals Caxias.

In other Copa Libertadores matches on Tuesday, Paraguay's Olimpia won 2-1 at home to Godoy Cruz of Argentina, Uruguay's Penarol beat Ecuador's LDU Quito 1-0 in Montevideo, San Lorenzo of Argentina secured a 2-0 home win over Peru's Melgar and Brazilian outfit Atletico Paranaense won 1-0 at home to Colombia's Deportes Tolima.