A Neymar hat-trick for Santos and
Deco's winner for Fluminense in Boca Juniors' Bombonera cauldron
highlighted a stunning night for Brazilian sides in the
Libertadores Cup on Wednesday.
Corinthians made it three wins for Brazil while a bad night
for Argentine sides was compounded by a first defeat for Velez
Brazil striker Neymar netted a penalty and two brilliant
second-half goals as holders Santos beat fellow Brazilian side
Internacional 3-1 in Group One.
Santos, upset 2-1 by Bolivia's The Strongest at high
altitude in La Paz three weeks ago, have three points from two
matches. The Strongest lead the group with six points.
Neymar, Brazil's big hope for the 2014 World Cup, converted
a penalty to give Santos a 1-0 half-time lead at their Vila
Belmiro ground before exploding after the break.
In the 54th minute, he picked up the ball in his team's half
and dribbled his way past three defenders before steering it
past goalkeeper Muriel at close quarters.
Inter striker Leandro Damiao pulled one back 10 minutes
later, but within two minutes Neymar had completed his treble,
his speed on the ball leaving two defenders in his wake before
he chipped over Muriel.
Fluminense beat Boca 2-1 to lead Group Four with a maximum
six points, while Boca have only one from a disappointing 0-0
draw against weak Venezuelan side Zamora.
Argentine champions Boca, six times South American title
winners, lost for the first time in 37 matches in all
"We knew the pressure would be strong here and Boca tried to
push us back into our half," man of the match Deco told Fox
"But we defended well when we had to and controlled the
match, playing with quality and personality," added the former
Barcelona, Chelsea and Portugal playmaker.
Fluminense took an early lead when Brazil striker Fred
headed home a Deco free-kick flighted into the box in the 10th
The goal, the first Boca goalkeeper Agustin Orion had
conceded in eight matches in all competitions this year, stunned
the home side and they took most of the first half to settle
into their stride.
Visiting goalkeeper Cavalieri parried three stinging chances
in quick succession in the last minute of the first half from
defender Juan Insaurralde, striker Santiago Silva and playmaker
Juan Roman Riquelme.
Boca, their tails up, equalised right after the break from a
47th minute free-kick taken by supreme specialist Riquelme.
The playmaker's curling kick hit the base of the post and
came back into the middle off Cavalieri's back only for
midfielder Leandro Somoza to rifle it home.
Fluminense were not to be deterred and eight minutes later
Wellington turned Matias Caruzzo on the left and crossed low for
Deco to shoot first time under Orion restoring the Brazilians'
Corinthians beat Paraguay's Nacional comfortably 2-0 at home
at the Pacaembu in Sao Paulo to notch up four points, two less
than Group Six leaders Cruz Azul of Mexico.
Velez still lead Group Seven with six points from three
matches after their 3-0 defeat by Deportivo Quito at the
Atahualpa in the Ecuadorean capital.
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