Ecuador’s Independiente stuns Boca, advances to Copa Libertadores final

Buenos Aires, July 15 (IANS) Ecuador’s Independiente del Valle stunned Boca Juniors 3-2 at La Bombonera in the second leg of their Copa Libertadores semi-final, earning its first ticket to a final of South America’s premier club football tournament with a 5-3 victory on aggregate.

Independiente, which defeated Boca 2-1 in last week’s first leg in Quito and on Thursday became the first Ecuadorian team to defeat Boca at La Bombonera, will next take on Colombian club Atletico Nacional for the title, reports Efe.

Boca seemed to have the momentum when striker Cristian Pavon received a pass from Colombian defender Frank Fabra and opened the scoring for the home side three minutes into Thursday night’s game, a goal that knotted the overall clash 2-2 on aggregate.

But the Ecuadorian team re-asserted its authority, thanks to goals by defender Luis Caicedo and midfielders Bryan Cabezas and Julio Angulo.

In the 24th minute, shoddy defence allowed a corner kick to find its way to an unmarked Caicedo, who slammed the ball into the back of the net from close range.

Independiente then put the game out of reach with two goals in as many minutes shortly after the start of the second half, one when Cabezas broke free and beat goalkeeper Agustin Orion in the 49th minute and the other when a costly mistake by the Boca Juniors net minder allowed Angulo to score.

The nightmare for Boca Juniors’ fans continued when Independiente goalkeeper Librado Azcona stopped Nicolas Lodeiro’s penalty try in the 70th minute, although the Buenos Aires side managed one final goal by Pavon in stoppage time.

Independiente earlier stunned Boca Juniors’ arch-rival, defending champion River Plate, 2-1 on aggregate in the round of 16 of this year’s Copa Libertadores.

In the two-leg final, the Ecuadorian club will face Atletico Nacional in Quito on July 20 and again on July 27 in Medellin, Colombia.



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