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U. Católica and Colo-Colo: Last Chilean Teams In The Copa Libertadores

Católica starts its 2020 Copa Libertadores campaign away at Internacional of Brazil on Tuesday night. Colo-Colo travel to Bolivia to face Jorge Wilstermann on Wednesday. Both teams hope to qualify from their respective groups.

It is left to U. Católica and Colo-Colo to fly the Chilean flag in the Copa Libertadores after both Palestino and U. de Chile failed to make the group stages after being knocked out in their respective qualifying round matches. Palestino made it to the second stage of qualifying after beating Cerro Largo of Uruguay 6-2 over two matches.

They came unstuck, however, in their second round match against Guaraní of Paraguay. A gut-wrenching 1-0 defeat in Santiago against a resilient Guaraní team that played the entire second half with only 10 players. The return fixture in Asunción was no better for Palestino as an early lead was squandered by a comical back-pass header by Sergio Felipe that Bobadilla of Guaraní easily intercepted and converted to level the score. Palestino eventually succumbed to a 3-1 defeat over the two matches.

Colo-Colo (Group C) 

Colo-Colo is the only real Chilean team with Libertadores pedigree, winning the competition in 1991 and reaching the final in 1973. The team starts its campaign away against Jorge Wilstermann of Bolivia before facing off against Atletico Paranaense of the Paranaense League of Brazil for its first match at Estadio Monumental in Santiago. The fourth team in Colo-Colo’s group C is Uruguay’s Peñarol.

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Católica (Group E)

Católica’s recent dominance of the Chilean domestic league has not yet converted to international success, although players are hoping 2020 could be the year. The team’s greatest success in the competition was reaching the final in 1993, but they eventually fell to a 5-3 defeat to São Paulo.

Their campaign starts with a difficult away trip to Internacional of Brazil—a team that comfortably fought off U. Chile over two legs in the first qualifying round of the competition. U. Católica’s first home match at Estadio San Carlos de Apoquindo will be a little over one week from now (Mar. 10), against América de Cali of Colombia. The fourth team in U. Católica’s group is Grémio of Brazil.

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