Boca Juniors and Corinthians are tied at 0-0 through the first 45 minutes of the Copa Libertadores final as expected, but there's been plenty of intrigue early in the match. Boca are attacking much more than anyone could have expected, while Corinthians made a surprising first-half tactical sub. The home side should also be down a man, but were let off easily by the referee.
Boca got off to a quick start, winning a free kick in the first minute, which resulted in Rolando Schiavi heading just over the bar 70 seconds in. Paulinho had the first big chance for Corinthians in the eighth minute with a great shot from 30 yards out. Agustín Orion was caught a bit off guard by the attempt and reacted a split-second late, but recovered well and made a fantastic save. Things settled down a bit after that, especially for Corinthians, as Boca began to control the game. They committed numbers forward and looked good in possession, but Corinthians have defended well and there haven't been any clear chances.
Santiago Silva almost scored on a spectacular bicycle kick in the 35th minute, but was denied. Juan Román Riquelme started the move with a great ball down the right flank for Pablo Mouche, who hit a cross to the back post. Silva timed his acrobatic overhead kick perfectly, but the Corinthians defense was in position to make a block.
In the 39th minute, Corinthians made a shocking switch when Liédson came on for Jorge Henrique, a like-for-like switch up top. Jorge Henrique was silent in the opening minutes, but did not appear to be injured, so the substitution came as a huge surprise.
Facundo Roncaglia picked up a yellow card in the 18th minute and should have picked up a second in the 41st minute, but was let off by a referee obviously averse to significantly altering the final with an early red card. He took down Emerson from behind with a very cynical challenge, and the entire Corinthians team was incensed that he wasn't booked. Incredibly, during the argument between the two sides and the referee, no Corinthians players were booked for their protests, but Riquelme was shown a yellow card.
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