The 2017 Copa CONMEBOL Sudamericana was the 16th edition of the South American secondary club football tournament. CONMEBOL, which governs football in South America, organizes the Copa Sudamericana. With a new format, this tournament is becoming more popular than ever, and this year was no exception. These are the key points to remember when you think about Copa Sudamericana. You’ll find them below!
The first edition of the competition was held in 1916 with Uruguay winning the inaugural title. The Copa Sudamericana is now held every four years and the winner of the tournament qualifies for the Copa Libertadores group stage. The tournament field includes ten CONMEBOL member nations and two invited teams. The CONMEBOL Executive Committee votes to determine the winners. While the Copa Sudamericana is not officially sanctioned by FIFA, it is still an important tournament in South American football.
The final ended in a 1-1 draw between Independiente & Flamengo. The Independiente team won the 2017 Copa Sudamericana 3-2 on aggregate. Flamengo fans broke into the Maracana stadium to attack Independiente supporters. The police used stun grenades and tear gas to calm the crowd. Flamengo supporters were not happy with the outcome, and the fans were chanted and flared.
As the host team, Independiente is one of Colombia’s most famous clubs, having won the Copa Libertadores seven times. Their last Copa Libertadores title came in 1984. Atletico Junior made it to the semifinals, but was eliminated in a 4-1 aggregate match by Flamengo. The Copa Sudamericana was a disappointing disappointment for Colombian teams this year. Only Bogota-based Santa Fe managed to reach the round of 16.
The Copa Sudamericana competition is open to teams from CONMEBOL countries. The South Zone includes Argentina, Bolivia and Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay, while the North Zone includes Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador. There are 54 teams competing, and 44 of them qualify directly from their leagues. The remaining ten teams come from the Copa Libertadores.
The main Copa Libertadores consists of 32 teams and is held each year in March. The winners of the Copa Sudamericana automatically qualify to the group stages, while third-placed teams qualify by qualifying through the preliminary round. There are two qualifying rounds for both competitions, but it is unlikely that teams can qualify for both tournaments in the same year. The main Copa Sudamericana is expected to start in February or March, and end in December.
The final match will be played in November. The top two teams will advance into the semifinals and grand finals. The Copa Sudamericana saw ten teams qualify for the Copa Libertadores. Four teams from other tournaments were also eligible for the second round. The competition is divided into two groups, Bombo A and Bombo B. The winner of the Copa Sudamericana will play in the finals of the Copa Libertadores.