The second leg of the 2007 Copa Libertadores final, between Grêmio and Boca Juniors, is due to kick off – not quite the same thing as saying it actually will – in an hour and a half (1:45am British Summer Time, 9:45pm Argentina). As with the first leg last Wednesday, you’ll be able to follow the action via our text updates by clicking ‘read more…’ below and then refreshing this story periodically (once the game has started, obviously).
Grêmio 0 – 2 Boca (FULL TIME)
1:10am (BST): A quick look at one of the search terms that’s been used by someone who found the site tonight has reminded me there’s a question I’ve not answered yet. So: away goals do not count in the final. They do in the rest of the knockout stage, but not tonight. Boca won the first leg 3-0 – if Grêmio win 4-1 or 5-2 tonight, it will go to penalties (that’s another thing – no extra time).
1:25am: Twenty minutes to go. Boca’s lineup can be seen here (yes, that page is from the first leg coverage – it’s the same XI who’ll be playing tonight). Grêmio, meanwhile, will have Argentine Sebastián Saja in goal, and in front of him will be: Patrício, William, Teco, Lucio; Diego Souza, Lucas (in for the suspended Sandro), Diego Gavilan; Tcheco, Carlos Eduardo and Tuta.
1:50am: The teams are on the pitch, Boca wearing yellow shorts for some reason, which look every bit as hideous as they sound. There are some loud fireworks going off and smoke hanging over the pitch. The stage is set…
1:57: We have kick off.
2 mins: First corner of the night for Grêmio, after some very early pressure. It drifts past the far post harmlessly. Boca’s shorts, on the other hand, are a crime against humanity. They’re far too bright and don’t even have the saving grace of matching the nice shade of gold on their shirt…
5 mins: Boca’s first real chance. Following some pressure from the hosts, a lightning quick exchange of passes in the middle releases Ledesma, who crosses for Palermo. El Loco‘s header is saved by Saja.
9 mins: Tuta gets above Morel Rodríguez but his header is straight at Caranta and easily held. This after a counter following a Boca attack. It’s been end-to-end so far…
10 mins: Diego Souza is fouled ten yards outside the area, but the resultant free kick is again straight at Caranta. Still, it’s more than they managed in the whole of the first leg…
15 mins: Grêmio are really quite good at playing football. Why they didn’t try in the first leg is beyond me. Boca’s centre backs are, at times, finding themselves pushed back to the six-yard line, though they’re still getting forward enough to create openings themselves. It’s a much more open game than the first leg, so far.
18 mins: An attempt from Boca – Pablo Ledesma has a go from a very long way out, and it ends up going a very long way wide.
19 mins: A high cross into the Boca box. Tuta swings for it with a bicycle kick, and mis-hits it down to Diego Souza (I think), who can only scuff his shot into Caranta’s grateful arms.
22 mins: The best move of the match so far comes to nothing for Grêmio as Tcheco’s cross fails to get past Morel Rodríguez at the near post. There are one or two juicy tackles starting to go flying in in the midfield, in the meantime…
25 mins: Boca’s defence is under pressure and when Banega drops deep and tries to clear it, he hits it straight to Lucas – who lucky for the visitors can only guide his ‘shot’ out almost for a throw-in.
27 mins: A Boca counter brings a corner, only half cleared, and after a couple of knock downs Palacio gets through on goal – only to find his shot blocked at the last by an outstretched defender’s leg. Another corner, this time cleared properly.
31 mins: Lucio has been Grêmio’s – and the game’s – best player so far, bombing down the left and causing Ibarra and Ledesma on the Boca right some real problems. He’s just slipped a ball inside to Tcheco, whose shot takes a deflection and is prevented from going out by Caranta.
3am: Enormous apologies for the half-hour blackout. My computer and my modem decided to stop talking to one another, so I’ve had to switch machines. Hopefully I can get the necessary programs sorted in time for the second half – at HALF TIME it’s still goalless.
3:10am: The second half begins. I may have changed computers but one thing’s the same – Boca are still wearing those shorts.
49 mins: Boca have started the second half by simply trying to keep Grêmio at arm’s length. The hosts, for their part, have switched to a 4-2-3-1 to try and get more men forward from midfield.
50 mins: A free kick for Grêmio on the right, which is bent in towards Tuta. He sends a header crashing against Caranta’s right-hand post. Diego Souza follows up but the ‘keeper saves superbly and Diego is booked for his second challenge.
55 mins: Grêmio continue to pressure and following some good buildup play, Lucio sends in a long-range shot which ends up dipping rather closer to the crossbar than Caranta seemed to have bargained for. But still over.
59 mins: BOCA SUBSTITUTION: Neri Cardozo comes off for Sebastián Battaglia, as Riquelme prepares to take a corner for Boca.
60 mins: As he does in every match (those who pay attention when they watch him will have noticed this), Riquelme tries curling the corner straight into the goal. He misses, by inches. As it comes in, William pulls up Martín Palermo’s shirt to demonstrate that Boca’s undershirts are the same hideous shade of yellow as their shorts…
65 mins: Boca hold it down at Grêmio’s end for a minute or two, and Hugo Ibarra eventually gets a free kick after being fouled by Lucio out near the right touchline.
66 mins: It’s cleared away, played back in by Riquelme, and Palermo crashes a shot into the side netting after goalkeeper Saja comes for it and misses it totally. He was offside anyway, but it was almost a very embarrassing moment for the ex-San Lorenzo ‘keeper.
68 mins: GOLAZO DE BOCA! Ibarra runs forward down the right wing, knocks it just inside to Riquelme and continues. Riquelme doesn’t use him – just inside the right-hand (as Boca see it) corner of the penalty box, he turns and sends a shot absolutely flying into the far corner of the net. 1-0 on the night, 4-0 on aggregate. Grêmio were dead before. They’re buried now.
72 mins: Grêmio seem unsure what’s happening, disjointed and dispirited. Boca are happy to apply a little pressure but now know the job’s done.
79 mins: It’s still getting from one end to the other and back again, but the game is a lot more relaxed now. The urgency has gone out of Grêmio’s play and Boca are exerting their control.
80 mins: GOL DE BOCA! Another for Riquelme, who helps orchestrate a counter-attack which sets Rodrigo Palacio free in the right channel. Palacio’s angled shot is pushed out but trickles to a clutch of three players in the six yard box – two Grêmio defenders and Riquelme, who gets there first to put it in the net. 2-0 on the night.
83 mins: PENALTY FOR BOCA. Palermo goes to ground at a free kick. It looked like six of one and half a dozen of another, but the ref gives it.
84 mins: Martín Palermo misses a penalty against a Brazilian side. Who’d have thought it?
87 mins: BOCA SUBSTITUTION: Rodrgio Palacio comes off for Mauro Boselli.
89 mins: Boca’s bench are dancing on the touchline in anticipation of the final whistle…
90 mins: No stoppage time at all. ¡BOCA CAMPEON DE SUDAMERICA!