The Libertadores Cup
served up a double dose of late drama as Boca Juniors and Corinthians scored last-gasp goals in Wednesday night's games to
reach the semi-finals.
Santiago Silva scrambled home a 90th minute goal to give
six-times champions Boca a 1-1 draw at Fluminense which sent
them through 2-1 on aggregate.
In the other match, Paulinho headed an 87th minute winner
for Corinthians, the only goal of a dour, fear-ridden two-leg
tie against their fellow Brazilians Vasco da Gama.
Fluminense, missing playmaker Deco and striker Fred through
injury, still managed to take a 17th minute lead when defender
Carleto scored with a free kick which took a deflection and left
goalkeeper Agustin Orion stranded.
The Brazilians managed to nullify Boca playmaker Juan Roman
Riquelme as the visitors were reduced to launching long balls
forward for Silva to chase.
Beaten finalists four years ago when they overcame Boca in
the semi-finals, Flu were close to settling the tie when Thiago
Neves was denied by Orion and Rafael Moura shot wide from an
excellent position in the next attack.
Instead, Boca went through with the last move of the game as
Diego Rivero's shot hit the post, goalkeeper Diego Cavalieri
clawed it away only for Uruguayan striker Silva to force the
ball across the line.
The Corinthians-Vasco tie produced more crunching tackles
than clearcut chances and the hosts had coach Tite sent off just
after the hour for protesting the referee's decisions.
Vasco had two good chances in quick succession in the second
half when Diego Souza galloped clear of the Corinthians defence
but had his effort saved by Cassio, then Nilton headed against
Instead, Corinthians, who have never won the competition,
snatched victory when Paulinho headed in from a corner in the
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