LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 30: Juan Roman Riquelme of Boca Juniors runs with the ball during the Emirates Cup match between Arsenal and Boca Juniors at the Emirates Stadium on July 30, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Copa Libertadores 2012, Quarterfinals: Boca, Velez Post Big Results

Boca Juniors and Velez Sarsfield are in position to win their quarterfinal ties after they both pulled off 1-0 home wins on Thursday.

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Velez Sarsfield Vs. Santos FC, 2012 Copa Libertadores: Santos Mails It In, Loses

Much like they have throughout the competition, Santos FC decided to not bring their best to a road game on Thursday night and more or less mail it in. Based on the fact that they lost to Bolivar on the road, then thrashed them 8-0 at home, it's not exactly worth passing judgment on them. In any event, they looked nothing like the best version of themselves against Velez Sarsfield on Thursday, as the home side ran out 1-0 winners.

Santos, who have arguably the best collection of attacking talent on the continent, managed just two shots against Velez. The home side's goal came from striker Mauro Obolo in the 35th minute, with a header on a cross by Emiliano Papa.

Velez are a much stronger side than Bolivar, so it's unlikely that Santos are just going to waltz through them in the second leg, but they're still favorites to progress. Even so, would it have killed them to try to get an away goal?


Boca Juniors Vs. Fluminense, 2012 Copa Libertadores: Pablo Mouche Fires Boca To Win

Boca Juniors are in control of their Copa Libertadores quarterfinal tie against Fluminense after they pulled off a 1-0 victory at home on Thursday night. Fluminense defender Carlinhos picked up two early yellow cards, going off in the 33rd minute to give Boca a massive advantage. This forced Fluminense to play a very defensive game. They were largely successful, but couldn't keep a clean sheet.

Pablo Mouche scored the goal with a close-range header in the 51st minute, redirecting a cross from his strike partner Dario Cvitanich into the back of the net. Fluminense head back to Brazil without an away goal, and they might have trouble preventing Boca from grabbing one of their own with Carlinhos suspended for the second leg. At the same time, Boca will probably regret not extending their lead. Fluminense goalkeeper Diego had a great game and kept his team in the tie with his six saves.


Vasco da Gama Vs. Corinthians, 2012 Copa Libertadores: A Dull Scoreless Draw

On a rainy night in Rio De Janeiro, Corinthians and Vasco da Gama kicked a football for 90 minutes on a terrible, torn up, muddy excuse for a pitch. Very few people were amused by anything that took place in the game. The box score shows six shots on target for both teams, but don't be fooled. Each goalkeeper only had to make one great save, and they came six minutes apart. Cassio made a diving stop on Eder Luis in the 54th minute and Fernando made a nice stop on Alex in the 60th minute. This was the most interesting period of the game, a 0-0 draw.

The bad news for Vasco da Gama is that they only managed a draw at home against a Corinthians team that probably beats them for raw talent. The good news is that they kept a clean sheet without their star central defender Dede in the lineup. He's still out through injury, and even in a bad game on a terrible pitch, keeping a clean sheet against Corinthians without him is impressive.

Corinthians played a conservative style en route to a 0-0 draw in the first leg of their tie against Emelec, then won comfortably at home, 3-0. They appear to be executing the same strategy in this tie, but the second leg should be less of a walkover than the second leg against Emelec in the Round of 16.


Libertad Vs. Universidad de Chile, 2012 Copa Libertadores: La U Snag Away Goal, Draw

Libertad took an early lead on defending Copa Sudamericana champions Universidad de Chile, but will be heading to Santiago as underdogs after they conceded in the second half. The Paraguayan side started the game aggressively, but turned slightly conservative after their opener and were made to pay for it. La U weren't at their best on Wednesday night, but Jorge Sampaoli will be happy with the 1-1 draw his side got out of the match.

Victor Caceres, Libertad's star netted the opener at the end of a nifty counter-attacking move. Pablo Velazquez started the attack with a great through ball to Jose Nuñez, who the La U defense was able to catch up to. Nuñez slammed on the brakes, then played a great backheel pass into the path of Luciano Civelli, who surged down the left flank before playing a cross into the center of the box. Caceres timed his late run perfectly and got onto the end of the ball, finishing off the chance to give his side a 7th minute lead.

La U playmaker Gustavo Lorenzetti netted a slightly lucky equalizer in the 55th minute. He took an ambitious rip from 30 yards out and his shot appeared to take a slight deflection off of a Libertad defender. The ball's course didn't alter much, but it changed direction just enough to throw off Rodrigo Muñoz. He reacted slowly and let the shot skip by him at the far post, letting in a huge La U away goal.

The result was a great one for the visitors, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows for them. They'll have to play the second leg without Emilio Hernández, who managed to get himself sent off in the 89th minute.

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