Santos' wonderkid scored a beauty in the first half which was enough to cement a spot in the semi-finals as they drew with Once Caldas in a dramatic contest
An early strike by Neymar was enough for Santos to clinch a spot in the semi-finals of the Copa Libertadores as they drew 1-1 with Once Caldas in Sao Paulo, going through 2-1 on aggregate.
Neymar struck 11 minutes in after the ball fell to him on the edge of the box, and, although Wanso Renteria equalised on the half-hour mark, Santos held on to reach the last four.
The Brazilians added to their first-leg advantage when Neymar found Danilo on the right and then pounced after the defender's cross had been deflected into his path 18 yards from goal, drilling his shot into far left side of the net.
Renteria hit back on the half-hour mark after relying largely on counter-attacks in the opening stages. From a free kick, Jefferson Cuero sent in a cross to the near post, where Matias Mirabaje flicked the ball towards goal. The ball fell right to the feet of Renteria, who put it away with ease from only a few yards out.
After the equaliser, the Brazilians regained control, linking play well down the right side through Neymar and Elano. Chance after chance arrived, but Santos teased their fans, racking up a number of near-misses, including an Elano free-kick just before half-time.
A little over a minute into the second half, a combination from Neymar and Elano found Ze Eduardo open in the box, but the little man sent his shot over the bar.
Another Santos attack almost resulted in a goal for Elano, who drilled a powerful, low shot that was saved by Luis Enrique Martinez, and when the ball bounced right to Ze Eduardo off the save the forward wasted the chance.
Seven minutes into the second half, Elano and Neymar once again linked well. The former Manchester City man played a soft pass to the Chelsea target, who instead of playing a low shot into the far side of the goal went for glory, attempting to chip the keeper but failing miserably.
As the Colombians failed to move forward the home side continued to dominate, but the central defence of the 2004 champions were able to close quickly and escape danger.
Neymar missed a penalty kick in the 86th minute as the drama reached its peak, the little speedster denied by Martinez to make the hearts of fans pump even faster in the dying minutes.
With the result, the Peixe will take on the winner of the tie between Cerro Porteno and Jaguares in the semi-finals as they go in search of their first Copa Libertadores title since 1963.
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