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Copa Libertadores

  • May 10, 2012
  • • 23:30
  • • Estádio Urbano Caldeira, Santos, São Paulo
  • Referee: Martín Vázquez
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Santos win Aggregate 9 - 2

Santos 8-0 Bolivar: Unstoppable Neymar & Ganso run rampant as champions gain La Paz revenge

Santos 8-0 Bolivar: Unstoppable Neymar & Ganso run rampant as champions gain La Paz revenge

Ivan Storti - Santos FC

The Selecao pair joined Elano in netting twice on Thursday evening, as a poor Academia side had no answer for the attacking verve and potency of the 2011 Libertadores winners

Ab outstanding display from Santos led the Brazilians to an 8-0 win over Bolivar in Vila Belmiro, sealing a 9-2 aggregate victory in the Copa Libertadores last-16 following an astonishing 90 minutes of football. Neymar, Ganso and Elano all grabbed two goals each as the visitors capitulated, while Alan Kardec and Borges were also on target to help the Peixe avenge their 2-1 defeat in La Paz.

Bolivar took to the Vila Belmiro field in positive fashion on Thursday evening, pressing their opponents while knowing that the key was to avoid an early goal and make it to half time with their advantage intact. Unfortunately for the Bolivians, that objective lasted for all of five minutes before Santos powered into the lead. Neymar nodded down well to Elano 30m from the net, and the midfielder did not hesitate as he rifled a trademark stunner past Marcos Arguello for the first.

The strike was a hammer blow for the away team, and an invitation to open the floodgates as resistance crumbled. A senseless shove from Arguello on Edu Dracena gave Neymar the chance to double the lead from the penalty spot, and the youngster obliged with glee. The forward turned provider minutes later, his cross turned into the net with an outrageous backheel from Ganso who took advantage of an almost complete absence of blue shirts in the penalty area.

From that point forward Bolivar looked devastated, and the match threatened to descend into farce as Santos players lined up to put the ball into the net. Alan Kardec was next to make the scoresheet, the forward scything right through the middle of the defence with a strong run before firing the ball once more past the hapless Arguello. Before the half-time whistle had even sounded, Neymar was celebrating his second and the Peixe's fifth.

The 20-year-old phenomenon added his seventh of the tournament with a delicate close-range finish, and the Celestes must have been delighted to see the first 45 minutes come to a close as their chances of making the quarter-finals crumbled around their feet.

The half time interval provided precious little respite, however, as the Brazilians came out determined to turn the screws. Neymar turned the defence inside and out on the left flank, before his low cross found Elano who rode the challenge and slotted home for his second of the evening. And in almost unbelievable scenes, Ganso's perfectly struck free kick just two minutes later marked seven for the Libertadores holders with a full 40 minutes still to play.

Alan Kardec was withdrawn for Borges, and the prolific striker wasted almost no time in joining in the festivities. An excellent interchange between Neymar on the left and Ganso in the middle diverted play to the unmarked hitman, who made it look all so easy as he racked up number eight for the rampant hosts. Borges could have even hit more, but a couple of accomplished saves from Arguello meant the last half hour passed without further goals while Santos waltzed to a place in the last-eight.

The win sends Santos through with ease to the next round of the Copa, where they will meet Velez Sarsfield. The Brazilians will be expecting a much sterner test against the Fortin, who almost made last year's final only to agonisingly exit at the penultimate stage at the hands of Penarol.

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