Boca beat Arsenal 2-0, edge closer to last-16 berth
Buenos Aires: Ten-man Boca Juniors virtually secured a berth in the Libertadores Cup knockout phase with a 2-0 win over Arsenal at the Bombonera on Thursday.
Boca, who had holding midfielder Leandro Somoza sent off in the 37th minute for a second booking, have seven points in second place in Group Four, four more points than fellow Argentine side Arsenal.
Group leaders Fluminense of Brazil, who took all nine points from their first three matches including a 2-1 win at Boca three weeks ago, were away to bottom team Zamora in Venezuela in a later kickoff.
"Winning with 10 men is the same as winning with 11. We`re going to have to improve a lot to reach the final but we want to qualify first," Boca captain Juan Roman Riquelme told Fox Sports.
Six times South American champions Boca, the more incisive side despite being a man short, went ahead in the 50th minute.
Striker Santiago Silva, still looking for his first goal in his eighth match for Boca, back-heeled to Riquelme whose low shot was only parried by goalkeeper Cristian Campestrini and midfielder followed up to turn the ball into the net.
Silva was also provider for Boca`s second goal one minute from time with a well weighted pass to substitute Juan Sanchez Mino, who scored with a low shot.
"Silva had a great match. He`s not scoring but he`s doing a great job for us," Riquelme said of the burly, shaven-headed striker nicknamed `Tank`, who joined Boca from Fiorentina in January.
With all teams having played four of their six matches in the eight groups, two sides are virtually out of the running and Peruvian champions Juan Aurich have already been eliminated.
Juan Aurich have zero points in Group One which is led by title holders Santos on nine points with fellow Brazilians Internacional and The Strongest of Bolivia on seven apiece.
Uruguay`s Penarol, one of the great teams of South America with five titles who reached a record 10th final last year, are six points behind second-placed Universidad de Chile in Group Eight. Penarol have only one point and a minus-six goals record having lost to the Chileans 2-1 on Tuesday.
Colombia`s Atletico Junior are in a similar position in Group Three with one point, six adrift of joint leaders Union Espanola of Chile and Bolivar of Bolivia and five behind Chile`s Universidad Catolica.