The initial draw for the 2008 Copa Sudamericana was made at the AFA headquarters on Tuesday. Not all the qualifiers are known yet, but so far we do know that River Plate, Boca Juniors (both invited rather than needing to qualify), Arsenal de Sarandí (as defending champions), San Lorenzo and Estudiantes (qualified via the league) will be there. There will also be two other Argentine sides in the preliminary round. There are details of the fixtures as they affect Argentina’s representatives here.
River Plate and Boca Juniors will start in the quarter-final. Boca will take on the winners of the previous round tie between Ecuadorian Copa Libertadores finalists LDU Quito and Bolívar of Bolivia. River, meanwhile, will play either Paraguay’s Libertad, or a Uruguayan side as yet unknown (they’ll play a qualifying playoff before meeting Libertad in the last 16). If Both sides reach the semi-finals, the draw will thow them together in a double-headed superclásico.
Copa Sudamericana holders Arsenal de Sarandí will begin their defence against the third-placed qualifiers from the CONMEBOL region, and will play the second leg away from home, by their own choice apparently. Argentina’s other qualifiers will play preliminary round ties between themselves before entering the last 16. San Lorenzo will play the third-placed qualifiers (currently Independiente), and Estudiantes will take on the fourth best (currently Argentinos Juniors).
This year’s edition of the tournament sees a couple of relatively small changes: first, the Mexican representatives will play from the first round this year, and secondly to prevent confusion the rules regarding away goals will be changed to match those of the Copa Libertadores – that is, away goals will count as a tie-breaker in all rounds except the final. The first matches in this year’s Sudamericana will be played on the 30th July.