Pablo Mouche’s goal in the 52nd minute lifted Boca Juniors to a 1-0 victory over 10-man Fluminense of Brazil on Thursday in their Copa Libertadores first-leg quarter-final.
In the other first-leg quarter-final on Thursday in the Argentine capital, Velez Sarsfield beat defending champions Santos 1-0, with Mauro Obolo scoring from a header in the 36th minute.
Boca forward Mouche scored from a sharp-angled, left-footed shot that sneaked inside the far post behind goalkeeper Diego Cavalieri.
The Rio de Janeiro club played with 10 men after Carlinhos was shown a red card in the 34th minute following a bruising tackle.
“We needed to win at home and after the first goal we were hopeful of getting another, but we lacked finishing,” Boca midfielder Juan Roman Riquelme said. “We didn’t bother them as much as we should have.”
With former star and Manchester City forward Carlos Tevez watching at Boca’s La Bombonera, the home side started slowly, but were in control by the time Carlinhos was sent off.
Boca began to press and came up with a chance in the 18th minute when Cavalieri stopped Facundo Roncaglia on a close-in shot. Minutes later, Dario Cvitanich sailed a shot over the crossbar.
Boca had most of the possession with the man advantage.
Cavalieri sprawled to stop Mouche in the 41st minute. A minute later, Riquelme shot just wide of the near post and seconds after that Cavalieri saved Rolando Schiavi’s shot.
Referee Hernan Buitrago wrongly turned down a Fluminense penalty appeal late in the first half, with replays showing Roncaglia stopped a shot in the area with his outstretched arm.
Velez boosted their chances of advancing to the semi-finals by denying Santos an away goal, while scoring through Obolo, who got on the end of a cross from Emiliano Papa and nudged in a header which beat Santos goalkeeper Rafael and went inside the far post.
On Wednesday in the other first-leg quarter-finals, Universidad de Chile drew 1-1 at Paraguay’s Libertad, while in Rio de Janeiro, Vasco da Gama were held to a goalless draw by Brazilian rivals Corinthians.
All four second-leg matches are scheduled for next week.