Sao Paulo beat Palmeiras 1-0

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Sao Paulo snatched a 1-0 win away at Palmeiras in the first leg of their Copa Libertadores last sixteen match on Wednesday.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:52 IST
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Sao Paulo:

A long range effort from full back Cicinho in the 60th minute was enough to give Sao Paulo a 1-0 win away at Palmeiras in the first leg of their Copa Libertadores last sixteen match on Wednesday. The two great rivals were at loggerheads even before the match, with Sao Paulo preferring both legs to be played at their own Morumbai ground. But Palmeiras wanted their home advantage to count and on 21 minutes their new aquisition Marcelinho tested the reflexes of Rogerio Ceni as they made a bright start. At the other end though, Palmeiras goalkeeper Marcos was having a much busier time of it and ought to have been beaten by Grafite's free header on the half hour. Somehow, the ball bounced up and over the crossbar. Seven minutes later Sao Paulo created an even better opening - Cicinho intercepted a poor crossfield pass and raced in on goal, Marcos made a good save from the subqequent shot and got up to produce an even better one from Grafite's follow-up. It stayed 0-0 into the break, but Palmeiras coach Estevam Soares' worried look was worth a thousand words and on the hour, Cicinho's snap shot unsighted the Palmeiras 'keeper and Sao Paulo had a deserved lead. It was the 24 year-old's third goal of the campaign. Palmeiras tried to respond, but the Sao Paulo defence held firm. It would not turn out to be the home side's night. with ten minutes tom go, Marcelinho curled in a kick that beat Rogerio Ceni, but not the woodwork. Perhaps they should have played both legs at the Morumbai after all. Now they have to win 2-1 or better to progress to the last eight. Sao Paulo are firmly in the driving seat and claimed their fourth win in five games against Palmeiras in the Copa Libertadores. (AP)

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