Sudamericana Semifinals set, Atlético face Colón, Independiente del Valle to battle Corinthians

The CONMEBOL Sudamericana final four is set following another week of action in the competition. A pair of Brazilian sides, Atlético Mineiro and Corinthians, joined already qualified Colón and Independiente del Valle to complete the quartet that will compete to lift the trophy in Asunción.

After a 3-1 win in Bogotá against Colombian outfit La Equidad, Atlético Mineiro are set for a semifinal matchup with Colón. Already leading 2-1 on aggregate heading into the night, Atlético opened the scoring early on, with Réver forcing one home on 19 minutes played. Trailing 3-1 on aggregate, La Equidad received a burst of hope early on in the second half as Matias Mier found the back of the net with a thunderous strike worth watching again.

La Equidad's hope was short-lived however, as Yimmi Chará found himself unmarked at the far post, where he headed home with ease to put Galo back on top 2-1 and in possession of a commanding lead on aggregate. Atlético finished the night off with another goal, this time from Elias, whose strike earned him Qatar Airways goal of the week honors for a second consecutive week. 

Atlético's performance sets up an intriguing semifinal tie with Colón of Argentina. Colón will host the first leg in Santa Fe on September 19th, with the return leg taking place in Belo Horizonte on the 26th of September. 

The final semifinal spot remained in question until the final seconds of Thursday night's second leg between Corinthians and Fluminense at the Maracanã. In front of a brilliant crowd, Fluminense started brightly, but neither side was able to find an opener before halftime. Just as the thought of penalties began to filter into the minds of those at the Maracaña, a fortunate deflection gifted a golden chance to Pedrino, who took advantage to strike Corinthians in front on the night 1-0. 

Fluminense attacked the game after Pedrinho's opener, knowing they needed to score twice to go through thanks to Corinthians' away goal. Fluminense's efforts were rewarded in the 83rd minute as Pablo Dyego's header found the back of the net to equalize 1-1. Though Fluminense pushed in the final minutes to try and turn the tie around, it was Corinthians who actually had the better chances late. Things finished 1-1 in Rio, with away goals sending Corinthians through to the semifinals.

A challenge awaits for Timão in the form of Ecuadorian outfit Independiente del Valle. The Ecuadorians impressed against Independiente in the quarterfinals, and have the benefit of altitude on their side for the return leg. That fact makes the first leg in São Paulo on the 18th of September all the more intriguing. 

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