A stunning hat-trick from Neymar sealed a 3-1 win for Santos between the two Brazilian sides in Group 1.
The treble began in the 18th minute; as the ball was rolled into the box, Internacional’s Índio and Borges tangled their legs and Borges dropped to the floor when trying to turn. The referee immediately pointed to the spot and Neymar stepped up to send Muriel the wrong way.
Neymar’s second goal was a superb solo goal that must surely be a contender for the Puskas award at the end of the year. The move began with an electrifying burst from inside his own half, taking on four players with supreme close control and technique before stabbing the ball over the grounded goalkeeper.
Despite Leandro Damiao’s tap-in from a yard out, Internacional were not able to upset Neymar’s evening, as he bagged his hat-trick just three minutes after. Skipping past Roledo Moledo, he ran freely until the edge of the six-yard box before lifting the ball over Muriel.
This win kick starts Santos’ Copa Libertadores campaign after a disappointing result against The Strongest last week. Internacional are now level on points with the club from Sao Paolo, both clubs training the Bolivians who have a 100 per cent record from their first two outings.
Vélez remain top of Group 7, despite a surprising 3-0 loss to an impressive Deportivo Quito side in Ecuador.
After quiet first half, the match came to life on the stroke of half time when Sebastian Dominguez collided with Matías Alustiza inside the Vélez box. The Argentinian brushed himself down and stepped up to blast the ball low past Barovero.
Two minutes after the interval, Dep. Quito doubled their advantage when Luis Saritama’s freekick from around the corner flag was misjudged by Barovero. The Vélez stopper’s punched clearance was completely missed, and Fidel Martinez Tenorio had the simple task of heading into the back of the unguarded net.
With twenty minutes left, Dep. Quito all but confirmed their win when the club captain, Luis Saritama, collected the ball inside the box, took a touch to set himself and stuck low across the sprawling Barovero into the far corner.
Vélez remain top of the pile in Group 7, but Deportive Quito have gained ground and climb to second after a convincing and impressive win.
Boca Juniors’ 36 unbeaten run finally came to end, as Fred and Deco snatched both goals in a game that Boca largely dominated.
Within the first 10 minutes, Fluminense took the lead through some uncharacteristically poor defending from the Boca centrebacks. Deco’s deep freekick was weighted perfectly, 8 yards out from goal, and Fred outmaneuvered Roncaglia’s attempts to mark before heading low past Orion.
It was a surprising performance from Boca as Silva and Mouche missed several chances throughout the match and the defence were prone to clumsiness and simple errors; a trait which has been extremely uncommon under Falcioni’s leadership.
Boca did get themselves back into the match two minutes after the half time break. Juan Román Riquelme bent a freekick over the Fluminense wall that crashed against the bottom of the post to leave Somoza with a simple tap-in.
However, Boca did not go on to claim the points, as Fluminense capitalised on their opportunities, whilst Boca did not. A neat dribble and turn of pace down the left hand side of the box by Wellington was then capped with a cross to match and found Deco at the far post to tap past the unreactive Orion.
Although Boca pressurised right until the final whistle, they were unable to break down a compact Fluminense side; mainly due to some wasteful finishing. Boca Juniors have just 1 point from two games, whilst the Brazilian side are top of the group with two wins.
Corinthians continued their fine start to the 2012 Copa Libertadores with a second consecutive victory, this time at the expense of Nacional at the Pacaembu.
Danilo opened the scoring for the Timão late in the first half. A crossed ball into the box was spilt awkwardly inside the six-yard box by the Nacional goalkepper, Don. Danilo was on hand to calmly collect the ball, sidestep his marker and place his shot. This goal made amends for a good chance which he had squandered just fifteen minutes into the match.
Although not at their ruthless best, Corinthians were dominant throughout the match, and mid-way through the second half, the Sao Paolo side doubled their advantage when Edenílson’s cross met Jorge Henrique’s perfectly timed run and the forward unorthodoxly shouldered the ball past the goalkeeper.
In the remaining few minutes of the match, Corinthians were comfortable on the ball and kept possession, frustrating the Paraguayans. Liedson should have made it three with a missed chance late on in the match, but the points had already been confirmed.
This result keeps Nacional at the bottom of Group 6, as Corinthians make up ground on the leaders, Cruz Azul, who they face next Wednesday.