Six times South American
champions Boca Juniors secured their place in the Libertadores
Cup knockout phase with a 2-0 victory over Fluminense in Rio de
Janeiro on Wednesday.
The victory, including a late penalty save by Boca
goalkeeper Agustin Orion, was sweet revenge after the
Brazilians' 2-1 over the Argentine side in Buenos Aires last
month and robbed the visitors of their perfect record.
Fluminense lead Group Four with 12 points, two more than
Boca who could still take top spot in the final group matches
next week when Flu visit eliminated Arsenal and Boca host
Venezuela's Zamora, who sit bottom on one point.
"We're going to go for first place in the group," Boca coach
Julio Cesar Falcioni told broadcasters Fox Sports.
Boca went ahead just past the half hour when centre-back
Leandro Euzebio's poor clearance of a high ball into the
Fluminense half fell to striker Dario Cvitanich, who shook off
midfielder Diguinho and shot past goalkeeper Diego Cavalieri.
The Argentine side doubled the advantage 15 minutes from
time when winger Pablo Mouche crossed from the right and
substitute midfielder Juan Sanchez Mino ghosted in at the far
post to score from two metres.
Fluminense were awarded a penalty in the dying minutes when
tricky winger Wellington Nem was brought down by Rolando Schiavi
but Orion read substitute striker Rafael Moura's intentions and
made a diving save to his left.
In a match of few clear-cut chances, Orion did also save a
point-blank effort from Fluminense captain Fred early in the
match at the Engenhao.
"We were annoyed we hadn't taken anything from the match at
home when they scored from their two only chances there," Orion
Brazil's Corinthians secured their last-16 berth with a 3-1
away over Nacional in Asuncion to top Group Six and at the same
time eliminated their Paraguayan opponents.
The result qualified Mexico's Cruz Azul, who could snatch
top spot if they beat Nacional and Corinthians, who are three
points ahead, lose their last match at home to Venezuela's
Deportivo Tachira next week.
Argentina's Velez Sarsfield, champions in 1994, secured
their place in the next round as Group Seven winners on 12
points with a game to spare after a clinical 2-0 away win over
Guadalajara on unfamiliar Astroturf at the Omnilife.
Midfielder Augusto Fernandez put Velez ahead in the 70th
minute with a rising shot from the right and substitute striker
Lucas Pratto raced onto a high ball out of defence to steer it
inside the far post in the 90th.
The Chivas, runners-up two years ago, are all but
mathematically eliminated at the bottom of the group with four
They have lost their last three matches, including two in
the Mexican league endangering their chances of reaching the
Clausura championship quarter-finals.
Second place in the group will be decided next week when
Ecuador's Deportivo Quito, who have seven points, are at home to
Guadalajara and Defensor Sporting of Uruguay, on six points,
visit Velez in Buenos Aires.
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