Rio de Janeiro: Emelec`s dramatic victory over Olimpia in Paraguay`s capital Asuncion eliminated Brazilian giants Flamengo from the Copa Libertadores.
Defender Jose Quinonez scored the injury-time winner as Ecuador`s Emelec overcame the Paraguayans 3-2 Thursday to secure a spot in the tournament`s knockout phase.
The result meant Flamengo`s 3-0 victory over Argentina`s Lanus at the Engenhao stadium went in vain, Xinhua reported.
It was a bitter-sweet night for Flamengo supporters, who after a stuttering Libertadores campaign finally saw their team play in a fluent and attacking manner.
Welinton Souza Silva and Deivid scored first-half goals for the Brazilians before Luiz Antonio made it 3-0 five minutes into the second half.
Former Barcelona and AC Milan star Ronaldinho showed flashes of his old brilliance by setting up two of the goals and posing a constant threat to the Lanus defence.
The result in Paraguay means Flamengo finish the group phase on 8 points, one behind Emelec and two behind Lanus.
After the match, Flamengo coach Joel Santana denied his team was suffering a crisis.
"I think we had more good moments in this tournament than bad ones," Santana said, adding the team would now turn its focus to the Rio Cup.
Santana reserved special praise for Ronaldinho, maligned by Flamengo fans in recent weeks for his inconsistent form.
"Ronaldinho is very experienced. He has been through a lot in his career and is used to criticism. He is an idol and has his ups and downs. The life of a star is always like that, that`s why there are so few."
First Published: Friday, April 13, 2012, 17:45