South America’s Football Confederation has announced the Copa Libertadores draw for the Round of 16. Six Brazilian teams remain in the race for the continent’s most prestigious trophy. One of them, however, will be eliminated since Santos and Atlético-PR face each other.
Here are the match-ups for the Copa Libertadores’ Round of 16:
Jorge Wilstermann vs Atlético-MG
Atlético’s bracket won’t put it against a fellow Brazilian team before a possible final. It is the only Brazilian team in such a situation. Its next match-up is against Bolivia’s Jorge Wilstermann, which won all three home games in the group stage but lost all three away games. The team plays in Cochabamba, 2,500 meters above sea level. It’s high, but not as intimidating as La Paz: 3,600 meters above sea level.
Barcelona de Guayaquil vs Palmeiras
Palmeiras will face the first team to clinch a spot in the knockout stage. Barcelona guaranteed its qualification after only four games. The team finished the group stage in the second position, trailing Botafogo only on goal difference. It will certainly be a tough match-up for the reigning Brazilian national champions.
Godoy Gruz vs Grêmio
Godoy Cruz is playing only its fourth Copa Libertadores and has managed to qualify from the group stage for the second time in history. Although the team only lost one game, it was a 4-1 shootout against Atlético-MG. The team is young and unstable, but could give Grêmio a run for its money.
Nacional vs Botafogo
Nacional has been in the last 20 editions of Copa Libertadores, making it the most experienced team in this year’s edition. Last year, it knocked Corinthians out of the tournament and only lost to Boca Juniors during the penalty shootout. This year, however, the team has had a lackluster performance.
Atlético PR vs Santos
Atlético-PR qualified for the round of 16 after a dramatic last-minute win in its last Copa Libertadores game. However, the team has not managed to play well under new manager Eduardo Baptista. In the Brazilian League, it has earned only 5 points in 7 matches – good enough for last place.
Santos has also faced instability, as it has fired Coach Dorival Jr. New manager Levir Culpi will debut on the biggest possible stage.