Champions Flamengo out of Libertadores on exciting night

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RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Defending champions Flamengo were knocked out the Copa Libertadores on Tuesday on a night of excitement and red cards which included a second half of 67 minutes in the tie between Santos and Liga Deportiva Universitaria of Quito.

The officials added on six minutes at the end of the Santos game but as that time drew to a close clashes ensued that led the referee to send off three players – one from the Brazilian side and two from the Ecuadorans.

The battles and the time spent reviewing the Video Assistant Referee delayed the final whistle even further.

When the Argentine referee finally blew his whistle 67 minutes had elapsed and Santos, who lost 1-0 on the night, went through on away goals.

In the night’s other main tie, Flamengo drew 1-1 at the Maracana stadium against Argentine side Racing but were eliminated 5-3 on penalties.

The Argentines, who have not won this tournament since 1967, scored all five of their spot kicks but William Arao, who got Flamengo’s goal in the last minute of regulation time, missed his, taking Racing into the quarter-finals.

Flamengo had centre half Rodrigo Caio sent off 18 minutes into the second period.

The result means the Rio de Janeiro club have won just one game in six since coach Rogerio Ceni last month replaced Spaniard Domenec Torrent, who was fired after two heavy defeats in three games.

(Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)