Argentine side Boca and 3 Brazilian teams advance to Copa Libertadores semifinals

Updated Aug. 31, 2023 11:31 p.m. ET

SAO PAULO (AP) — Boca Juniors of Argentina is the only team that can prevent a fourth consecutive all-Brazilian final in the Copa Libertadores. The decider of the tournament will be played on Nov. 4 at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

Palmeiras, winner of the tournament in 2020 and 2022, will be Boca's rivals. The other semifinal will be a match between Internacional and Fluminense, which was the last to advance on Thursday.

Boca advanced on penalties after two 0-0 results against local rival Racing on Wednesday. Palmeiras secured its place among the last four on the same day after a goalless draw with Colombia's Deportivo Pereira. The Brazilians had won the 1st leg 4-0.

Internacional beat Bolivar 2-0 in Porto Alegre on Tuesday with two goals of Ecuador international Enner Valencia. The Brazilian team had won the first leg 1-0 in La Paz.


Fluminense, the only semifinalist that is yet to win the Copa Libertadores, beat Paraguay's Olimpia 3-1 in Asuncion. The away victory gave the Rio-based team a 5-1 win on aggregate.

John Kennedy opened the scoring for the visitors in the 24th minute, but the hosts equalized with Facundo Sabala in the 44th. Olimpia was down to 10 when Fernando David Cardozo was sent off in the 71st minute, and Fluminense replied with two goals by German Cano — the first in the 80th minute and the second in added time.

Palmeiras beat Santos and then Flamengo to win the 2020 and 2021 Copa Libertadores titles. Last year, Flamengo topped Athletico Paranaense to lift the South American crown.

The Copa Sudamericana, the second most prestigious club tournament of the region, will have a Brazilian finalist. Corinthians and Fortaleza, two teams that have never won the tournament, will face off after eliminating Argentina's Estudiantes de la Plata and Brazil's America, respectively.

The other semifinal will be played by two teams that have lifted the Copa Sudamericana before and also managed to eliminate Brazilian rivals in the quarterfinals.

Argentina's Defensa y Justicia knocked Botafogo out after a 2-1 win at home. The first leg in Rio ended 1-1. Ecuador's Liga de Quito beat Sao Paulo on penalties on Thursday after a 1-0 away loss that equalized the aggregate result at 2-2.

Robert Arboleda scored the only goal of the match at the Morumbi Stadium in the 77th minute, but new signing James Rodriguez missed the only penalty among all 10 takers and allowed the Ecuadorians to advance.

The Copa Sudamericana final will be played on Oct. 28 in Montevideo, Uruguay.


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