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Copa Libertadores Wrap: Boca earn slender advantage

Boca Juniors have claimed their first win from six matches in all competitions after a 1-0 triumph over Corinthians in the Copa Libertadores.

Nicolas Blandi scored the only goal for the game for Boca, who are languishing in 18th position in the Argentine Primera Division, handing the home side victory in the first leg of their round of 16 tie against Corinthians of Brazil.

Boca had to hang on for the last six minutes plus stoppage time on Wednesday after substitute Pablo Ledesma was sent off.

After a goalless first half in Buenos Aires, the home side hit the front in the 59th minute when Cristian Erbes collected an attempted clearing header from Corinthians left-back Alessandro and the Boca midfielder’s sliced shot fell into the path of Blandi, who poked the ball into the net.

Ledesma was sent off in the 84th minute after collecting two yellow cards in as many minutes, but Boca survived a late charge from the Brazilian visitors to claim a crucial win heading into the second leg in Sao Paulo on May 15.

In the other Copa Libertadores clash, Brazil’s Gremio defeated Santa Fe of Colombia 2-1 thanks to a late winning goal from Fernando.

Gremio opened the scoring just before the half-hour mark when Chilean striker Eduardo Vargas got ahead of his marker to nod Alex Telles’ cross into the net.

The game turned on its head early in the second half when Gremio central defender Cris was sent off for conceding a penalty and Santa Fe playmaker Omar Perez equalised from the spot.

But despite having an extra man, Santa Fe were unable to breach Gremio’s defence again and the hosts clinched victory in Porto Alegre when Fernando volleyed the ball home from outside the area in the 81st minute.

The second leg will be held at Santa Fe’s Estadio Nemesio Camacho on May 16.

Thu 2 May, 2013
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