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Corinthians 2-0 Boca Juniors (3-1 agg) | Copa Libertadores final match report

July 5, 2012


Corinthians have won the Copa Libertadores for the first time, Emerson scoring twice in the second leg of the final on Wednesday to sink the six-time champions Boca Juniors 3-1 on aggregate.

The teams played out a 1-1 draw in last week’s meeting in Buenos Aires and two second-half goals from Emerson ensured Corinthians finished the job in São Paulo, after which Boca’s playmaker Juan Román Riquelme, the former Argentina international, indicated he would be leaving.

“I’ve told the [club] president I’m not going to carry on,” the former Barcelona and Villarreal player said afterwards.

“I feel empty. I haven’t got anything else to give to the club,” added the 34-year-old who had helped Boca to a 10th final in search of a record-equalling seventh crown. “I can’t play at half [steam].”

Riquelme added that he will decide soon if he ism to continue his career at another club. The former Argentina coach Sergio Batista sounded him out recently to try to persuade him to join his Chinese team Shanghai Shenhua. He had three spells at Boca, the club where he is an idol and a fan, after emerging from the youth scheme at Argentinos Juniors.

Corinthians’ victory on Wednesday secured not only a maiden Libertadores title for Tite’s side, who went through the competition unbeaten, but also a place in December’s Fifa Club World Cup in Japan.

A scrappy first half at the Estádio Pacaembu took a turn for the worse for Boca in the 32nd minute when their goalkeeper Agustín Orión collided with his team-mate Leandro Somoza and was forced to leave the pitch with a knee injury.

Sebastián Sosa, who lost the 2011 Libertadores final with Penarol against Santos, replaced Orion between the posts but was powerless to prevent Emerson from opening the scoring eight minutes into the second half. Alex’s free-kick into the penalty area was deflected by the head of Jorge Henrique towards Danilo, whose neat flick set up Emerson for a cool right-footed finish.

Boca’s coach, Julio Falcioni, made attacking substitutions by replacing the midfielder Pablo Ledesma with Dario Cvitanich, but they w ere soon hit with a sucker-punch as a bad mistake from the defender Rolando Schiavi allowed the hosts to double their lead. Schiavi misdirected a pass straight to Emerson, who ran more than 40 yards before unleashing a shot past Sosa.

“I am very happy because we know the history Boca Juniors have in worldwide football and in the Copa Libertadores,” Emerson said. “Our crowd represents 33 million fans. Since this year’s Libertadores started, we have dreamt of clinching the title. We were all in need of this achievement.”

Danilo, a previous Libertadores winner with São Paulo, said: “We totally deserved this. We did not lose any games. It is extraordinary for us to win this title, which Corinthians had never won in the past.”

The defender Leandro Castan added: “We have made it into the history of the club. Maybe it was my last game at Corinthians but I will announce it on Friday. Now, it’s time to celebrate. Boca were great rivals.”

Corinthians are the n inth Brazilian team to lift the Copa Libertadores – joining Santos (1962, 1963 and 2011), Cruzeiro (1976 and 1997), Flamengo (1981), Gremio (1983 and 1995), Sao Paulo (1992, 1993 and 2005), Vasco da Gama (1998), Palmeiras (1999) and Internacional (2006 and 2010). Read More


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