Copa Libertadores: Carlos Tevez hits injury time winner to win group & Godoy Cruz reach last 16 (VIDEO)

It may not have been the most convincing of group stage performances but Boca Juniors defeated Athletico Paranaense in La Bombonera to not only qualify for the Copa Libertadores last 16 but do so as the only Argentinian group winners.

Boca’s place in the next round was all but certain, barring a huge swing in goal difference, prior to Thursday’s final group game but anything other than victory over Athletico Paranaense would see Gustavo Alfaro’s side have to settle for second and that looked likely to be the case until deep in stoppage time when Carlos Tevez struck.

A winner of the Libertadores back in 2003 with Boca, Tevez doesn’t need to do anything else to further endear himself to the Bombonera faithful but the veteran forward pulled the trigger on the edge of the box to score the dramatic winner and take his place as the third-highest scorer in the competition for Boca. When only the iconic duo of Juan Román Riquelme and Martín Palermo have scored more, you are in good company.

Topping Group G was motivation enough for Boca and a bright start saw Mauro Zárate bend a shot just wide and defender Lisandro López volley over the crossbar unmarked.

Unable to find a way through when a Athletico Paranaense managed to sneak through a crowded penalty box and allow Marco Ruben to nod in the opening goal after 65 minutes it looked as though Boca would have to settle for second.

However, López made amends for his earlier miss, stabbing in from close range to equalise and when Athletico midfielder Wellington was soon sent off for a clumsy challenge on Tevez, La Bombonera smelled blood.

Into the fourth minute of stoppage a cross from the right was only partially cleared and when the ball dropped to Tevez on the edge of the box, the Jugador del Pueblo rifled it low past Santos.

Athletico manager Tiago Nunes was far from pleased with the officiating and claimed that without VAR a team can’t beat Boca in La Bombonera but his side progress nonetheless, only it is Boca Juniors heading into the last 16 as Group G winners.

Boca Juniors  2 – 1  Athletico Paranaense

Earlier in Mendoza, Godoy Cruz required a result against Universidad de Concepción to follow Group C winners Olimpia through and thanks to Angel González’s first half goal, El Tomba achieved just that.

González spurned a glorious earlier chance, running in behind the Chilean defence only to shoot wide when bearing down on goal but would make up for that miss midway through the first half, scrambling the ball over the line after goalkeeper Cristián Muñoz parried Juan Lucero’s initial header.

Sporting Cristal beating Olimpia in the group’s other game left Universidad de Concepción out of all competition and the Chileans didn’t do enough to turn things around.

Godoy Cruz held on for something of a surprise place in the last 16, few would have though a side led by Lucas Bernardi would reach the knockout rounds and now the club see just how far they can go.

Godoy Cruz  1 – 0  Universidad de Concepción


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