Libertadores: A clean sweep for Argentina as Boca and Arsenal both win

JRRgol

Juan Roman Riquelme celebrates the only goal of the game against Nacional and going level with Martin Palermo as Boca’s leading Libertadores goal scorer

In the same week as Argentina celebrated Pope Francis I, Boca Juniors and Arsenal made sure that they had their most successful week of this year’s Copa Libertadores both chalking up wins to follow the earlier successes of Velez and Newell’s. Boca travelled to Uruguay to face Nacional with a heavy police presence, a defeat would have made qualification very difficult but Carlos Bianchi’s decision to rest all 11 players at the weekend proved correct as Boca battled to a hard fought 1 -0 victory courtesy of Juan Roman Riquelme’s penalty. Elsewhere, Arsenal hosted Sao Paulo after last week’s draw in Brazil and this time managed to go one better and secure all 3 points. Arsenal were made to work very hard too for their 2 – 1 win but the result leaves them with a reasonable chance of qualification. REPORTS AND GOALS HERE….

NACIONAL  0 – 1  BOCA JUNIORS

Boca managed to claim the all important win in Uruguay which puts them back in to the second qualification spot in Group 1 but they were made to work very hard for it. After just 20 minutes, Boca were reduced to 10 men when defender Claudio Perez was shown his second yellow card for a shove in the back of Juan Albin as the striker looked to connect with a cross. Not only was Perez ordered from the field but Nacional had the opportunity to take the lead from the spot. However, Ivan Alonso’s attempted chipped penalty was a little too strong and he put it over the bar. Just before half time, Boca won a penalty of their own and Juan Roman Riquelme made no mistake. His first since his return to the club and his 23rd in the Copa Libertadores, making him Boca’s top scorer. Despite Nacional creating a host of chances Boca held on for the win. This leaves them 1 point behind Nacional in second, the clash with Toluca in Mexico could be the decider.

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Uruguay Nacional 4 2 1 1 6 5 +1 7
Argentina Boca Juniors 4 2 0 2 4 4 0 6
Mexico Toluca 4 1 2 1 5 5 0 5
Ecuador Barcelona 4 0 3 1 4 5 −1 3

ARSENAL  2 – 1  SAO PAULO

A couple of weeks ago Arsenal’s progress in this competition looked unlikely, after a heavy defeat to Atletico Miniero and games against Sao Paulo up next it seemed that Group 3 had been too strong for them. However, after last week’s draw in Brazil and last night’s win they are now right back in the mix. Arsenal took the lead in the 65th minute when Jorge Ortiz fired home despite the visitors dominating the game. Sao Paulo finally got the goal that they deserved when Aloisio headed in a rebound from close range but it was Arsenal that conjured up a winner with 6 minutes remaining. Diego Braghieri’s volley from the edge of the box proved to be the winner and leave Arsenal level with Sao Paulo in second place. With Atletico Miniero having already guaranteed qualification they are playing for this spot now.

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Brazil Atlético Mineiro 4 4 0 0 11 5 +6 12
Brazil São Paulo 4 1 1 2 5 6 −1 4
Argentina Arsenal 4 1 1 2 6 9 −3 4
Bolivia The Strongest 4 1 0 3 5 7 −2 3
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