Colombian side Atletico Nacional completed a fairytale run to the Copa Libertadores final as Miguel Borja struck twice once again to finish the job against nine-man Sao Paulo.
The 23-year-old scored for the third and fourth time in a week against the Brazilian giants on Wednesday as Nacional won a fiery second leg of their semi-final 2-1, to progress 4-1 on aggregate.
Atletico – winners of the competition for the only time back in 1989 – will now take on either Boca Juniors or Independiente del Valle, who meet in their second leg on Thursday with the Ecuadorians holding a narrow 2-1 advantage.
For Sao Paulo – who saw captain Diego Lugano and Wesley sent off for their protests in the aftermath of the second goal – defeat marked another bitter blow for Brazilian football.
Having found the net twice to earn a surprise 2-0 victory in the first meeting in Brazil – a victory that Atletico coach Reinaldo Rueda admitted had helped his side capture the imagination of the whole nation – Borja once again proved the difference here.
However, it was Sao Paulo who made the early running and looked to have turned the tie when Jonathan Calleri converted Michel Bastos’ assist after nine minutes.
Seven minutes later, though, Borja outpaced the visitors’ defence to latch on to a throughball from Orlando Berrio and the Colombians’ advantage was restored.
Marlos Moreno – reportedly on the verge of a move to Manchester City – should have put the tie beyond doubt when he blazed over from close range with half an hour gone, and more chances went begging after the break.
With 15 minutes left, substitute Alejandro Guerra’s cross was handled in the box and Borja rifled home the penalty to seal victory.
There were chaotic scenes both on the pitch and along the sidelines in the aftermath, with Sao Paulo captain Lugano and Wesley eventually both seeing red after an eight-minute delay – the referee having first appeared to show a red card to Bastos after apparently confusing him with the latter.
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