Sao Paulo (AFP) – Hulk missed a penalty as Atletico Mineiro drew 0-0 with defending champions Palmeiras in their all-Brazilian Copa Libertadores semi-final tie on Tuesday.
Former Brazil international Hulk crashed his 42nd-minute spot kick off the foot of the post after sending Palmeiras goalkeeper Weverton the wrong way at Sao Paulo’s Allianz Parque.
Atletico had been awarded the penalty moments earlier after former Chelsea forward Diego Costa was bundled over in the area by Palmeiras centre-half Gustavo Gomez.
That missed spot-kick was the clearest goal scoring opportunity of a largely lacklustre encounter which saw both sides adopting a cautious approach.
Palmeiras, who are chasing a third Libertadores title after wins in 1999 and 2020, struggled to carve out goalscoring chances against a rugged Atletico defence.
Matias Zaracho’s attempted overhead kick on 25 minutes was the closest the hosts came to scoring in a low key first half.
Atletico meanwhile suffered a blow in the 54th minute when Costa pulled up with a hamstring injury and limped off.
Hulk had nerves jangling in the Palmeiras defence late in the game when his long-range free-kick whistled just wide, but there was to be no breakthrough.
The second leg takes place in Belo Horizonte next Tuesday.
The winner of the Palmeiras-Atletico tie will face either Brazilian team Flamengo or Ecuador’s Barcelona SC in the final.
Flamengo host Barcelona in the first leg of their semi-final at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday.