Sunday, April 23, 2017

Atletico Nacional 1 Independiente del Valle 0 (2-1 agg): Borja secures Copa Libertadores crown

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 28 Jul 2016


Atletico Nacional are Copa Libertadores champions after a 1-0 win over Independiente del Valle in the second leg of the 2016 decider on Wednesday. 

With scores locked at 1-1 after the first leg in Quito, Miguel Borja struck the only goal of the return fixture to seal a 2-1 aggregate victory.  

The win ends a 27-year wait for Nacional to claim Libertadores glory, the Colombian side having won the 1989 edition of the tournament against Olimpia. 

Borja’s goal was his fifth in just four Libertadores games for Nacional after joining the side ahead of the semi-finals, in which he scored all four of the side’s goals in the two legs against Sao Paulo. 

Nacional were the dominant side throughout the game, and Borja should have scored in the opening seconds after being played in one-on-one, but missed the gaping target. 

However, it took just nine minutes for the home side to find the lead, with the 23-year-old Borja smashing home a loose ball after a free-kick came off the post and back into play. 

Nacional continued to dominate but almost conceded in the 35th minute, as Jose Angulo blasted his shot from close range over the crossbar. 

Jonny Uchuari was a half-time substitute for Independiente and almost found an immediate response, but Nacional captain Alexis Henriquez denied the winger with a superb last-ditch tackle in front of goal. 

As the half wore on Nacional continued where they left off, dominating the possession and creating the better of the chances. 

Borja spurned a chance before Marlos Moreno – reportedly a target for Manchester City – missed another opportunity for the Colombians as things began to turn tense inside the Estadio Atanasio Girardot in Medellin.

However, the home support were in fine voice in the closing stages, spurring Nacional on to their second Libertadores crown, as Independiente’s fairytale story came to an end in cruel fashion. 


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