Club: Boca Juniors
Achievement: Capped an impeccable night with a penalty save and clean sheet to ensure Boca's Copa progress
When looking at Boca Juniors' renaissance as a football team over the last 12 months, there are many factors which one can point to as key to turning the club from mid-table underachievers to Argentine champions and genuine contenders in the Libertadores. The pragmatic style of Julio Falcioni on the bench, the relatively injury-free continuity enjoyed by Roman Riquelme, smart signings across the pitch; all have played their part. But few more so than the arrival of Agustin Orion between the posts.
The Xeneize had struggled to replace Roberto Abbondanzieri in goal since 'Pato' cut his second spell at the club short to go and win the 2010 Libertadores with Internacional in Brazil. Both Javier Garcia and Falcioni's ex-Banfield protege Cristian Lucchetti had fought for the No. 1 jersey with little success or sustained form. Things changed, however, when for the 2011 Apertura, former San Lorenzo and Estudiantes keeper Orion was called upon.
Having lifted national titles with both former clubs, the 30-year-old did not waste time in celebrating his third as a flawless season in goal - conceding just six goals in 19 games - played a key part in Boca's triumph. As he proved on Wednesday in a brilliant performance against Fluminense, it was no fluke.
Orion stopped everything the Brazilians threw at him in the Engenhao, making save after save while goals from Dario Cvitanich and Juan Sanchez Mino did the damage at the other end to put Boca on the verge of qualifying for the next round. A consolation for the already-qualified Flu looked inevitable, however, when Rafael Moura lined up in the 86th minute to take a penalty.
But the blonde bombshell known as 'He-man' in Brazil was to be disappointed. His nemesis between the sticks guessed correctly and saved his spot-kick, thus preserving Boca's record as one of the most miserly defences in the competition. Only Corinthians have conceded less goals than the Argentine giants, and Agustin's stopping will be key as his team look for their first Copa since 2007.
Ronaldinho, Flamengo: Devastated Mengao fans finally saw the Ronaldinho they were hoping for throughout the tournament. The No. 10 took apart Lanus in a vintage display that saw him set up two goals; albeit all in vain as results elsewhere knocked the Brazilians out of the competition.
Augusto Fernandez, Velez Sarsfield: The inspiration behind a smash and grab victory that downed Chivas in Guadalajara and assured last-year's semi-finalists a place in the last-16. Augusto blasted the first of the Fortin goals on the way to a 2-0 win, as the Argentines recovered from an indifferent first half to impress in Mexico.
Jose Quinonez, Emelec: Author of the goal which broke 30 million Rubro-Negro hearts. The Ecuadorian midfielder powered home a header in the final seconds of his side's clash against Olimpia, sealing a 3-2 victory in Paraguay and sending Emelec into the next round at the expense of Flamengo.