Sporting Cristal rubbed shoulders with great South American clubs such as River Plate and Boca Juniors on a list prepared by Conmebol.
Sporting Cristal, which has been representing Peru together with Alianza Lima and Melgar in this edition of the most important tournament on the continent, was considered in an outstanding list of the Copa Libertadores, which is made up of historic and powerful clubs from this region.
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Conmebol published a publication with the teams that are participating this season and that competed in a final of their competition. And the ‘celestial’ teamed up with institutions such as Boca Juniors, River Plate, Palmeiras and Flamengo.
And it is the Rimac team that managed to be a finalist in the 1997 season, unfortunately, they could not achieve eternal glory when they fell to Cruzeiro from Brazil. That was the first and only time that he entered said instance of international competition.
Clubs that participate in this edition and managed to be finalists of the Copa Libertadores. (Conmebol)
The ‘brewers’ put together a dream squad for that season with experienced players like goalkeeper Julio César Balerio and midfielder Pedro Garay and youngsters like Jorge Soto and Nolberto Solano. This squad was commanded by the Uruguayan Sergio Markarián.
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In the group stage, they met Gremio, Cruzeiro and Alianza Lima and placed third, advancing to the next round. They eliminated Vélez Sarsfield in the round of 16, Bolívar in the quarterfinals and Racing in the semifinals. This is how he qualified for the final.
He was measured again against Cruzeiro. In the first leg they equalized without goals, while in the second leg they lost 1-0 with a goal from Elivélton. In this way, Sporting Cristal was one step away from lifting the Copa Libertadores trophy after a historic campaign.
Sporting Cristal players with the 1997 Copa Libertadores medals.
Currently, Sporting Cristal is the only Peruvian club with options to continue advancing in the Copa Libertadores, since Alianza Lima and Melgar were left out with a few dates to go before the end of the group stage and they are only fighting for the ticket to the Cup South American.
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The campaign for Tiago Nunes’ team began in the preliminary stages, beating Nacional from Paraguay and Huracán from Argentina, thus entering Group D. In this instance, their performance went from less to more.
They lost the first two games against Fluminense in Lima and River Plate in Buenos Aires. However, the victory against The Strongest at home served to change the chip, because it began to add up. He tied with the ‘millionaires’ in the capital and surprisingly beat the Bolivians as a visitor.
Sporting Cristal defeated The Strongest 2-1 in La Paz for date 5 of group D of the Copa Libertadores 2023.
With 7 units, the ‘bajopontinos’ are in third position in Group D behind the Argentines (they have the same score) and Brazilians (9 points) and depend on themselves to qualify for the round of 16.