Vélez qualify for the Round of 16 following a comfortable victory against a disappointing Chivas side.
There was a slow and balanced start to proceedings in Guadalajara, as Vélez struggled to break down Chivas’ tight formation in the first half. The Argentinian side struggled to create many real openings and when Mauro Iván Obolo was put through on goal by Juan Martin Martinez, the Vélez number nine struck the side-netting.
As Omar Arellano began to pull strings on the left wing, Chivas began to improve, and the best chance of the half fell just before half-time. Mauro Fabián picked the ball up 25-yards out and played the ball to the feet of Erick Torres who collected well on the turn and struck the post.
Following the half-time interval, Vélez came out the better of the two sides and despite prolonged resistance from Chivas, eventually broke the deadlock after 70 minutes. Augusto Fernández began the move centrally and played the ball to Martinez on the right flank, who held up the ball well before returning the pass to the feet of Fernández. Collecting the ball on the edge of the box, he steadied himself before hitting a powerful effort into the top left corner.
Although Chivas began to press further up the field as the match dragged into the final minutes, they were unable to create clear cut chances in the final third and were punished when Pratto doubled Vélez’s lead in the final minutes.
Zapata’s lifted through-ball from inside the Vélez half was collected by Lucas Pratto who set himself as he reached the edge of the box and side-footed the ball into the bottom corner.
These three points confirm the Argentinian club’s qualification into the next round and quashes any hope Chivas had of joining them.
Goals from Dario Cvitanich and Juan Sánchez-Miño advanced Boca Juniors through to the quarter-final of this year’s Copa Libertadores.
Fluminense had already qualified following last week’s victory over Zamora whilst Boca were in need of all three points to challenge the Brazilian club for the top of the group.
After a steady opening few minutes, the game began to pan out in favour of Boca, who held a lot of possession in the Fluminense half. The Buenos Aires based club opened the scoring just after the half hour mark when Dario Cvitanich collected Santiago Silva’s flick-on and outmuscled Diguinho before confidently and calmly side-footing his shot under Cavalieri. It was a deserved lead for Boca, who began to take control of the match.
However, just before the half-time whistle, Fluminense had a fantastic opportunity to even the scoreline. Welliton did superbly well down the right wing, wriggling past several challenges before standing the ball up for Fred at the back post, who headed low as Orión punched clear.
As Flu began to get a foothold on the match, Boca killed the tie when they scored their second. The recently introduced Pablo Mouche worked well on the right of the box, turning back on himself and bending a cross to Juan Sánchez-Miño at the far post to stab past Cavalieri.
With five minutes remaining, Flu were given a chance to grab a consolation when Rolando Schiavi clumsily brought down Thiago Neves inside the area. Rafael Moura ran up slowly and shot to the left of Augusto Orión in the Boca goal but was denied by a great two-handed save.
Boca will feel relieved to have qualified and will hope to top the group following next week’s fixtures. They face Zamora at La Bombonera, whilst Fluminense face a tricky away tie in Sarandí against Arsenal.
Corinthians confirmed their position as Group 6 leaders following a well deserved victory over a resistant Nacional side.
Despite the Paraguayan side’s impressive start in the opening half hour, particularly down the left flank, they fell behind just after, following a well-worked goal. Emerson’s cross into the box was flicked-on by Liedson towards Jorge Henrique, who controlled on the left of the box. The Corinthians captain struck the ball towards the bottom corner and it squeezed in after some poor goalkeeping from Ignacio Don.
The closest Nacional came to equalising in the first half came about just before half-time. From 30-yards out, Miranda bent a cross-come-shot towards goal, which caught out Júlio César but crashed against the crossbar and bounced clear.
However, following the half-time break, Corinthians doubled their lead. A good passing move ended when right-back Edenilson dribbled through the middle of three Nacional defenders before laying the ball off to Emerson who took the ball around Don and rolled the ball into the back of the net.
Nacional were perhaps unfortunate to fall two goals behind considering their decent performance and reduced the deficit when the substitute Carlos Ruiz Peralta scored a spectacular overhead-kick. Torales collected a long ball and shot straight at César, whose parry bounced high for Ruiz Peralta to volley in.
Moments after, Corinthians regained their two-goal cushion following some very lazy defending from Marcos Miers. A simple pass on the right of the box ran through to the completely unmarked Emerson, who skipped past Don before the ball inadvertently fell to the feet of Elton, just 6-yards out, to pass into an empty net.
This result eliminates Nacional from gaining qualification and further enhances Corinthians position at the top of Group 6.