The draw for the Copa Libertadores 2015 took place last night and, at least partially, the group stages were settled. However, with league positions in many countries still to be decided and the first round playoffs to be played, there are still a number of gaps which made for a very confusing process.
Holders, San Lorenzo will have a tricky group with the likelihood of two Brazilian sides joining them in Group Two. One looks certain to be São Paulo but one of the places will go to the winners of the first round qualifying between ‘Brazil 5th seeds’ and ‘Colombia 3rd seeds’. Uruguayan side, Danubio complete the group but this potentially could be a difficult group for El Ciclón.
River Plate also do not have the kindest draw as they will endure three very long away trips. Marcelo Gallardo’s side were drawn in Group Six with San José of Bolivia, Tigres of México and the Peruvian runners up, yet to be confirmed. All three matches will be gruelling journeys in the middle of the lengthy new 30-team Primera.
The controversial playoff that will take place in January between Boca and Vélez will decide the final Argentine spot after the AFA appeared to backtrack on the fact that Vélez were qualified through their superior goal difference and instead say that a playoff was required. The winner of this match will go into Group Five with Zamora of Venezuela, Montevideo Wanderers and the winners of first round tie, Nacional de Uruguay and ‘Chile 3rd seeds.’
Copa Argentina champions, Huracán need to come through their own first round match first against Peruvian opposition but they would then come up against Cruzeiro, Venezuelan side Mineros and Bolivians, Universitario.
Just to give an idea of how complicated the draw was, Group Eight was left completely unresolved but will feature either Racing or Boca. They will eventually be joined by Peru 1st seeds, Paraguay 2nd seeds and the winners of Deportivo Táchira and Paraguay 3rd seeds.
The final slot which will be either Boca or Estudiantes will play Ecuadorian opponents in the first round and then join Group Seven with Atlético Nacional of Colombia (who play River tonight in the Copa Sudamericana final), Libertad of Paraguay and ‘Ecuador 2nd seeds.’