South America scraps away-goals rule for club competitions

LUQUE, Paraguay (AP) — South America has followed Europe by scrapping the away-goals rule for its club competitions, including the prestigious Copa Libertadores and the Copa Sudamericana.

South American soccer body CONMEBOL announced the decision on Thursday. UEFA made a similar ruling in June.

“From now on every goal in CONMEBOL tournaments will have the same value, goals scored by visiting teams will no longer be considered a tiebreaker,” the soccer body said on its social media channels. “With that, we seek bigger sporting justice.”

This year, the away-goals rule was key for defending champions Palmeiras of Brazil to reach Saturday’s Copa Libertadores final in Montevideo against its compatriots of Flamengo.

Tournament favorites Atletico Mineiro, also from Brazil, drew 0-0 with Palmeiras in the first leg of their semifinal match in Sao Paulo. Palmeiras advanced after a 1-1 result in Belo Horizonte, which amplified the criticism against the away-goals rule.

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