Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Copa Sudamericana Draw 2016

The Copa Libertadores has not even reached its final stage yet, but CONMEBOL does not take a breather. Last night, the first and second round of the Copa Sudamericana were drawn in Chile. Let us take a look at the results.

The trophy of the Copa Sudamericana. (Photo:
Eight countries have their teams taking part in round 1, divided into two zones, North and South. North includes Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela and Colombia. South on the other hand is joined by Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and Chile. The two heavyweights Argentina and Brazil are getting a free pass to the second round, where they will face each other in internal matchups. 

First round draw

The North Zone has several interesting matchups coming up during the first round of the competition. Peru's Universitario de Deportes and their famous U logo are going to host Emelec in one of the biggest of all clashes during this stage. Two other big names are involved when Emelec's Ecuadorian countrymates Barcelona SC face Zamora. Barcelona played really well in recent weeks and will look to keep up their good form against one of the biggest clubs from Venezuela.

Deportivo La Guaira (VEN) are going to host Tolima (COL) in what looks like a pretty even affair on paper as well. The other Venezuelan participants, Deportivo Anzoátegui and Deportivo Lara, are going to face Sport Huancayo (PER) and Atlético Junior (COL) respectively. Especially the latter Colombian team looks like it might have a chance to make some noise in the competition this year. 

Colombia's champion Independiente de Medellín has a trip to Ecuador on their schedule as well. They will be facing Universidad Católica. A surely not easy, but very doable task.

The last two games are Aucas (ECU) vs Real Garcilaso (PER) and Deportivo Municipal (PER) vs Atlético Nacional (COL). The Colombians are about to reach the Copa Libertadores final in the meantime. 

Players of Cerro Porteño. The Paraguayans are facing Fénix. (Photo:
Over in the South Zone, Uruguay's champion Peñarol will attack in the Copa Sudamericana after horribly failing in the Libertadores. Their chances to make the second round could be worse, as they face Sportivo Luqueño from Paraguay. One of my highlights of the first round is another meeting between clubs from those same countries: Fénix (URU) were matched up against Cerro Porteño (PAR). 

Uruguay's Clausura winner Plaza Colonia are going to play in Bolivia, facing Blooming. It is quite difficult to determine a favourite here, but traditionally, playing in Bolivia's height is no fun, so I would give the edge to them. The last participant from the country of the first World Champion, Montevideo Wanderers are playing O'Higgins from Chile. 

Palestino (CHI) are playing against iconic side Libertad (PAR) in what looks like a great tie on paper. The last Paraguayan side Sol de América are battling Jorge Wilstermann (BOL), who can probably count as favourite going into this game. 

Finally, Real Potosí (BOL) are meeting Universidad Católica (CHI, yes we have both of them in the competition again), while Universidad de Concepción (CHI) entertains Bolívar (BOL). 

Second round draw

Not all Brazilian clubs have qualified for the competition yet (only Sport Recife and Cuiabá so far), but Argentina's field of six teams is complete. 

Champions Lanús are meeting Independiente in a great matchup. Will this be the season, when Independiente finally return to glory or will Lanús keep up their fantastic form from the past half year? Banfield and San Lorenzo will meet in the second all Argentine tie. Last but not least, Estudiantes de la Plata are facing Belgrano.


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