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Velez Sarsfield Vs. Penarol, 2011 Copa Libertadores: Penarol Advances To Final On Away Goals

Velez Sarsfield were a goal away from a spot in the Copa Libertadores final with 15 minutes remaining in the second leg of the semifinal tie with Penarol and they had themselves a penalty kick. The home supporters were ready to erupt as the winning goal sat on the penalty spot and Santiago Silva stood ready to send the Argentinean club onto South America's biggest stage for a club. Then, the home field rebelled. Silva slipped as he kicked the ball and it went flying over the crossbar to keep the tie level at 2-2 on aggregate with Penarol's singular away goal the difference as the Uruguayan's celebrated their spot in the final.

Penarol had done their job in the first leg, winning 1-0 and keeping Velez from the vital away goal. Then on Thursday night, Matias Mier tallied in the 33rd minute and Penarol wasn't just ahead 1-0 in the match and 2-0 on aggregate, but they had themselves an away goal and with less than an hour remaining, the spot in the finals looked like it was theirs.

Velez responded though. After Penarol's goal, the home side pressured and pressured. Shots just missed the goal and chances were missed by inches, but in the 45th minute, they finally got their first goal of the tie. Velez got on the end of a free kick and while it was saved, the rebound fell right to Fernando Tobio, who finished into an empty goal.

The goal was followed by some bad blood. Penarol's Carlos Valdez and Velez's Silva got tangled up and neither appreciated the physicality. While the two pushed and shoved each other, the other players on the pitch jumped into the fracas and seemingly everyone had an issue with someone on the other team. Nothing much came out of the scuffle except for intensity that would spill over to the second half.

Even at 1-1 in the match, but trailing 2-1 on aggregate and behind on away goals, Velez needed to make up two goals in the second half to avoid elimination. That goal came in the 66th minute courtesy Silva, who was a handful for the Penarol defense all night. Velez needed just one more goal to complete the comeback.

That chance at a goal came just 15 minutes from full time. The referee pointed at the spot and the winning goal was just 12 yards away. Silva stepped up and took it with confidence, but his plant foot slipped from under him. The ball went over the crossbar and Velez's chance at a spot in the final was gone.

Penarol held on for the final minutes and while just even on aggregate, that goal earlier in the match by Mier was all they needed. It was their away goal that pushed them over the top and into the final where Brazil's Santos F.C. await with the continental championship on the line.