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Copa Libertadores: Atletico Mineiro 2 Newell´s Old Boys 0 (agg 2-2, Atletico win 3-2 on pens)

11 July 2013 06:15

Brazil's Atletico Mineiro have come from two goals down to reach the Copa Libertadores final after a 3-2 win on penalties over Newell's Old Boys.

Goalkeeper Victor was the hero for Mineiro, saving Newell's Old Boys' fifth penalty to clinch victory in the two-legged semi-final, after Ronaldinho had put the Brazilians ahead in the shootout.

But Newell's Old Boys will head back to Argentina wondering what went wrong as they were cruising with a 2-1 aggregate lead heading towards the final 10 minutes before a power outage at the Estadio Raimundo Sampaio allowed Mineiro to regroup in front of their home supporters.

After the lights came back on, Guilherme scored the equaliser for the hosts, setting Mineiro up for victory and a maiden appearance in a Copa Libertadores final.

It did not take long on Wednesday for Mineiro to reduce their two-goal deficit from the first leg in Argentina with Ronaldinho picking out Bernard's diagonal run in the fourth minute and the 20-year-old attacker slotted the ball past visiting goalkeeper Nahuel Guzman.

With a raucous home crowd behind them, Mineiro looked on track to overhaul the Old Boys' quickly but despite dominance in possession and more goal-scoring opportunities, the Brazilians were unable to add to Bernard's goal before the lights went out with around 10 minutes remaining.

The clock had ticked into the 89th minute before the lights turned back on but it seemed to give Mineiro the time they needed to refocus and the hosts came out firing.

With six minutes left, Guilherme picked up the ball on the edge of the area and thumped it past Guzman, ensuring a penalty shootout would be required.

The first four penalties from Mineiro's Alecsandro and Guilherme, plus Ignacio Scocco and Santiago Vergini of the Old Boys were dispatched with aplomb before players from both sides started to show some nerves.

Mineiro striker Jo was the first penalty-taker to crack, rolling his spot kick wide of Guzman's left-hand post, before Milton Casco hit the upright and Richarlyson and Rinaldo Cruzado both sent their penalties over the bar.

With the penalty shootout locked at 2-2, Ronaldinho stepped up to take Mineiro's fifth penalty and calmly converted before bowing to the home crowd.

Rodriguez was the visitors' final penalty-taker but was unable to beat Victor, who palmed the Argentine's spot kick away at full stretch to set up Mineiro's clash with Paraguay's Olimpia in the Copa Libertadores decider later this month.

Speaking after the match, Mineiro head coach Cuca heaped praise on his players.

"We spent time before the match speaking about Newell's Old Boys and I reminded the players that we are playing one of the top three teams in the competition along with us and Olimpia," he said.

"We wanted to play the way we normally do and the players were aware that without emotion, dedication and every one of the boys giving 120 percent, we would not have been able to go through."

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Info

Competition
Copa Libertadores
Date
11 July 2013
Kick-off
02:50
Half-time
1 - 0
Full-time
2 - 0
Penalties
3 - 2
On aggregate
2 - 2

Goals

Bernard 3'
(assist by Ronaldinho Gaúcho) 
1 - 0
Guilherme 84'  
2 - 0

Lineups

Substitutes

# Player Bookings
27
17 84'
19
6
14
21
24
# Player Bookings
6
28 90+1'
18
9
22
25
26

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