Boca Juniors progressed to the Copa Libertadores semi finals on Thursday night thanks to an inspired performance by goalkeeper Agustín Orión in a dramatic penalty shootout. Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s side defeated Nacional of Uruguay 4-3 on penalties after the tie had ended 2-2 on aggregate.
Frank Fabra’s goal in Montevideo last week had given Boca the slightest of advantages coming into the second leg but this was quickly undone in La Bombonera when Daniel Díaz diverted the ball into his own net after 21 minutes.
The home side continued to pour forward in search of a vital equaliser and after several missed opportunities and further injury blows to Marcelo Meli and Andrés Chávez the breakthrough finally came in the 73rd minute.
A superb pass over the top of the Nacional defence from Leonardo Jara released the sprightly Cristian Pavón and from an acute angle the youngster rifled the ball past Esteban Conde. During his over exuberant celebrations, Pavón removed his shirt and referee Heber Lopes had little option but to show him a second yellow card.
The Uruguayans, who had defeated Corinthians in the last 16, were unable to take advantage of the sending off over the final 17 minutes and the game went to penalties.
Nacional had the opportunity to win the tie after Pablo Pérez and Juan Manuel Insaurralde had seen their efforts saved by Esteban Conde but three consecutive penalty saves from Agustín Orión brought Boca back from the brink of defeat.
Felipe Carballo’s shot down the middle was the last and so Federico Carrizo stepped up to fire Boca into the last four.
Boca Juniors 1 – 1 Nacional (AGG 2-2) Boca won 4-3 on penalties