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Copa Libertadores wrap: Velez, Boca claim crucial wins

18 May 2012 16:24

A header from Mauro Obolo gave Velez Sarsfield a valuable 1-0 win over defending Copa Libertadores champions Santos on Thursday.

In front of their home fans in Buenos Aires, Velez managed to keep Santos star Neymar quiet and, more importantly, deny the visitors an away goal in the first leg of their quarter-final clash.

Ricardo Gareca's men made a strong start, bombarding the Santos goal in the opening minutes with Juan Manuel Martinez and Francisco Cerro both narrowly missing opportunities.

But it was Ganso who had the best early chance for the visitors when his deflected strike forced a wonderful fingertip save from Velez keeper Marcelo Barovero.

At the other end, Augusto Fernandez went close to putting the home side up when the ball broke to him on the right. The former River Plate midfielder released a wicked half-volley, but Rafael was more than equal to the challenge as he palmed away to avoid an opener.

The Velez fans, however, did not have to wait long to celebrate.

A pinpoint crossfield pass from Cerro found Emiliano Papa with space on the left, and the fullback did enough to make room and send in a dangerous cross. The Santos defence failed to pick up Obolo in the centre and the ex-Arsenal de Sarandi hitman looped his header over the despairing Rafael to put his name on the scoresheet in the 36th minute.

Early in the second half, Obolo went within inches of doubling the lead when his bullet header flashed just past the left post.

The return leg will be played in Sao Paulo next week.

In Thursday's other quarter-final first-leg match, Boca Juniors secured a valuable 1-0 win over Fluminense at La Bombonera.

Fluminense were reduced to 10 men during the first half when defender Carlinhos was shown a second yellow card for a handball.

From that point it was all Boca, who went ahead through Pablo Mouche early in the second half.

Nicolas Blandi's through- ball found its way to Mouche who slid the ball past Fluminense keeper Diego Cavalieri.

Mouche's first Copa Libertadores goal this season was to the delight of fellow Argentine Carlos Tevez, who was in the stands to watch the game.

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Info

Competition
Copa Libertadores
Date
18 May 2012
Kick-off
03:00
Half-time
1 - 0
Full-time
1 - 0
On aggregate
1 - 1

Goals

I. Óbolo 36'
(assist by E. Papa) 
1 - 0

Lineups

# Player Bookings
1 14'
2 90'
16 28'
6
8
7
5
15 84'
10
19
11 66'
Coach: Muricy Ramalho

Substitutes

# Player Bookings
24
10
14
13
23
25
17
# Player Bookings
9
17
3
14
20
12
18

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