- Defending champions Gremio progressed to last four
- River Plate, Boca Juniors and Palmeiras also advanced
- Tournament winners will compete at FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2018
Boca Juniors, the second most successful club in Copa Libertadores history, were the only team playing a second leg away from home this week to advance to this year’s semi-finals.
Holders Gremio, as well as River Plate and Palmeiras, all secured reasonably comfortable home wins, completing a last-four line-up that features two teams from both Argentina and Brazil.
The quartet are certainly not lacking in experience in this competition, having been crowned champions of South America no fewer than 13 times between them (out of 58 total tournaments).
The winners of the Copa Libertadores will represent their continent at the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2018.
- River Plate 3-1 Independiente (3-1 agg.)
- Gremio 4-0 Atletico Tucuman (6-0 agg.)
- Palmeiras 2-0 Colo-Colo (4-0 agg.)
- Cruzeiro 1-1 Boca Juniors (1-3 agg.)
Spreading the goals
Gremio put surprise package Atletico Tucuman to the sword, with an impressive display of attacking power. Even more pleasing for the reigning champions was the fact that their six goals over the two legs were all scored by different players, although one of them did go down as an own goal. Having found the net 22 times in the competition so far, the Porto Alegre side boasts the most prolific attack of the four clubs left in the hunt.
River on a roll
When Independiente equalised against Buenos Aires rivals River Plate on Tuesday, it was only the second goal that Los Millonarios had conceded at home in this year’s tournament. It was not enough to stop an in-form River, however, who dug deep to win the game 3-1 and extend their remarkable unbeaten run to 31 matches, ten of which have come in this year’s Copa Libertadores.
Boca find form
Despite some shaky domestic results of late, Boca Juniors registered a solid victory in the first leg and then scored a late and crucial leveller in Belo Horizonte to oust Cruzeiro and advance to the semi-finals for the second time in three years. A tough challenge now awaits Los Xeneizes in the shape of Palmeiras, who came away from Argentina with all three points when the two teams faced each other in the group stage.
Borja boosts Brazilians
Colombian forward Miguel Borja scored one of the goals that enabled Palmeiras to see off Chilean outfit Colo-Colo 4-0 on aggregate and book a spot in the last four for the first time since 2011. In doing so, the clinical 25-year-old joined compatriot Wilson Morelo (Santa Fe) at the top of the tournament scoring charts with nine goals, and now looks a good bet to finish as the competition’s top goalscorer.