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Copa Sudamericana Wrap: Kaka inspires Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo scored three times in the first half to take control of the Copa Sudamericana quarter-final first leg in Brazil on Thursday, with Kaka playing a role in all the goals, but Emelec struck twice in the opening 10 minutes of the second period to give them some hope as they head back to Colombia.

Emelec will host the second leg on November 5 and Sao Paulo will travel to Guayaquil knowing they let their opponents back into the tie at home.

Sao Paulo hit the front in the 12th minute at the Estadio Cicero Pompeu de Toledo with Kaka linking with Maicon on the left before the latter teed up Michel Bastos, who curled a left-footed shot into the net from the edge of the box.

Kaka made a nuisance of himself for the hosts' second goal, forcing Emelec goalkeeper Esteban Dreer into fumbling the ball in the 26th minute, which allowed Hudson to pounce and score.

It was 3-0 just before half-time when Ganso chipped a cross to Kaka at the back post and the former Milan and Real Madrid midfielder hit a first-time cutback for Alan Kardec to convert.

Emelec stormed back into the contest three minutes after the break with Miller Bolanos' powerful strike from an acute angle squeezing under Rogerio Ceni, while Angel Mena showed great skill to control Pedro Quinonez's ball over the top, before converting on the break seven minutes later, to make it 3-2.

Quinonez had also set up Bolanos for Emelec's first goal with a similar lobbed pass but the visitors handed the advantage back to Sao Paulo in the 70th minute when Antonio Carlos headed Hudson's cross home to give the Brazilian Serie A club a two-goal advantage ahead of next week's second leg.

In the other quarter-final on Thursday, Emmanuel Gigliotti stuck in the 83rd minute for Boca Juniors, bundling the ball home from less than a yard out, to give the Argentines a 1-0 victory over Cerro Porteno in Buenos Aires.