Defending champion Palmeiras stumbled in the first leg of the Copa Libertadores semi-final

Brazilian Palmeiras, the defending champion for the past two years, lost to his compatriot Atlético Paranaense 0-1 in the first leg of the semi-finals of the Copa Libertadores football competition.

Paranaense, under former Brazil manager Luiz Felipe Scolari, advanced at home in Curitiba in the 22nd minute thanks to a goal from midfielder Alex Santana that followed a cross from young striker Vitor Roque into the net.

Lacking the effort of his best players this season, Palmeiras forced striker Gustavo Scarpa to equalize with a numerically impoverished host after the break after his defensive midfielder Hugo Moura was sent off in the 69th minute.

Scolari was also sent off for the remainder of the match due to repeated objections to the referee’s decisions.

Palmeiras suffered their first away defeat in 20 continental matches.

In the other semi-final of the parallel draw of the European Champions League in South America, the Argentinean Vélez Sarsfield will meet the Brazilian Flamengo on Wednesday.

The 2022 final will take place on October 29 in the Ecuadorian city of Guayaquil.

Source: AFP

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