Monday, December 11, 2017

Copa Libertadores Review: River, Inter through to semis

River Plate recovered from a first-leg loss to advance to the final-four of the Copa Libertadores via a 3-0 win over Cruzeiro.

Marcelo Gallardo and Co. were stunned 1-0 at home by Brazilian champions Cruzeiro in Buenos Aires last week.

But defeat in the Argentine capital spurred River into action as goals from Carlos Sanchez, Jonathan Maidana and Teofilo Gutierrez gave the visitors a 3-1 aggregate victory in Belo Horizonte on Wednesday.

River, who will face the winner of Racing Club and Guarani in the semis, opened the scoring and levelled the tie thanks to Sanchez in the 20th minute at Estadio Governador Magalhaes Pinto.

With three Cruzeiro defenders attracted to the ball, Sanchez found himself unmarked just outside the penalty area and he was picked out by Gutierrez before firing underneath goalkeeper Fabio.

Maidana doubled River’s lead on the stroke of half-time after heading Ariel Rojas’ corner into the roof of the net.

The tie was put beyond doubt seven minutes into the second half, when Gutierrez beat his opponent and curled the ball beyond Fabio.

Cruzeiro ended the match with 10 men after substitute Gabriel Xavier was sent off three minutes from time.

Internacional also overturned a deficit as they accounted for eight-man Santa Fe 2-0 in Brazil to earn a semi-final clash with Tigres UANL.

Inter went down 1-0 to Santa Fe in Colombia last week but home comforts and three red cards saw the Brazilians through to the semis.

Only three minutes had been played when Juan levelled the quarter-final tie from inside the six-yard box.

Santa Fe had first-leg goalscorer Dairon Mosquera and Yulian Anchico sent off in the second half, and the home side made the most of their numerical advantage, albeit fortuitously, after Baldomero Perlaza headed the ball past his own keeper with three minutes remaining.

Unused substitute Miguel Borja was also sent off for Santa Fe after the final whistle.


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