Copa Libertadores Review: Boca Juniors advance, Flamengo complete comeback

By Sports Desk July 31, 2019

Boca Juniors booked their spot in the Copa Libertadores quarter-finals, while Flamengo completed a comeback against Emelec to progress on Wednesday.

Runners-up last year, Boca recorded a 2-0 victory over Athletico Paranaense at La Bombonera to secure a 3-0 aggregate win.

Ramon Abila scored the opening goal of the second leg with a powerful finish in the 57th minute.

The hosts sealed their win deep into additional time through Eduardo Salvio as they moved into the last eight, where they will face Ecuadorian outfit LDU Quito.

Flamengo needed penalties to overcome Emelec, winning 2-0 in Rio de Janeiro before a 4-2 shoot-out success.

Gabriel Barbosa, on loan from Inter, struck twice in the opening 19 minutes – including from the penalty spot – to bring the tie level at 2-2 on aggregate.

Diego Alves, who developed a reputation for saving penalties during his time with Valencia, saved from Dixon Arroyo in the shoot-out before Nicolas Queiroz hit the crossbar, sending Flamengo through.

Next up for Flamengo are Internacional, who claimed a 2-0 win at home to Nacional to wrap up a 3-0 aggregate success.

Cerro Porteno set up a quarter-final meeting with defending champions River Plate thanks to a come-from-behind 2-1 win over San Lorenzo in Asuncion, after their first leg finished 0-0.

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    The champions of Asia and Africa meet at Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium on Saturday for the right to face Copa Libertadores winners Flamengo in the last four next week.

    Al Hilal became continental kings for the first time since 2000 this year, beating Urawa Red Diamonds 3-0 on aggregate in the AFC Champions League final to avenge their 2-1 defeat to the same opponents two years ago.

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    Al Shalhoub also aims to put on a showcase of the developing quality of Arabic football when he faces a Tunisian side with which he is very familiar.

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    "It's true that experience is very important at this level, but at the same time, enthusiasm and motivation are also very important. After winning the Champions League of Asia, we are full of motivation," he said.

    "We know Esperance are a physical team while having quality from midfield and upwards. But we have a lot of quality and motivation. We're waiting for this game."

    Esperance reached their third Club World Cup after winning the CAF Champions League for the second year in a row in contentious circumstances, the Tunisians being awarded the trophy after the second leg was forced to be abandoned by Wydad Casablanca's protests over a disallowed goal in May.

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    "This is the first game for us, and the ultimate goal for us is to achieve success in the next match," he said. "Al Hilal are a well-respected team. They have world-class players and very talented strikers.

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    Players to watch

    Al Hilal – Bafetimbi Gomis

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