While other continental football competitions have produced a winner (and even started another season), the wait is still on in the Copa Libertadores. With some areas hard hit by the pandemic, the season has dragged along for longer than expected.
What would usually be vociferous stadiums now feature blockbuster games without the fans. One of such games in the 4-1 defeat of Gremio by Santos. This quarter-final win by Santos has seen them stake their claim in the semi-final, set to face Boca Juniors.
The two-legged system is still very much alive in the Copa Libertadores. It is why Santos scored five against Gremio. It is why River Plate scored eight, over two legs, against Nacional.
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Those two big scorers from the quarter-final, will now play different opponents in the semi-final.
River Plate, their quest to qualify for and win yet another Copa Libertadores final depends on getting past Palmeiras. It’s another Brazilian opponent for the Argentines after they dismissed Athletico Paranaense in the Round of 16.
Both sides will begin 2021 with the first leg in Argentina. And it’s advantage River Plate as they are currently on a 12-game unbeaten run. This first meeting between both sides will be quickly followed by the second leg a week later.
Will they score the first goal of this clash?
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When Boca Juniors take on Santos, it will be another Brazil vs. Argentina clash in the Copa Libertadores.
And you can expect all kinds of fireworks in this clash, especially with what’s at stake for both sides. For Boca Juniors, it’s the perfect chance to reach another final and, most importantly, tie the record for Copa Libertadores trophies won.
Boca Juniors have won the trophy six times. One more win and they will tie Independiente for the most Copa Libertadores trophy wins. Santos, on the other hand, have won the trophy three times. This is the chance to get one off the perennial champions and get their hands on the trophy for a fourth time.
How many goals will be scored?
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Four teams; two Brazilian sides, two Argentine sides.
An opportunity to win the Copa Libertadores trophy is at stake. There’s also the small issue of representing the continent in the FIFA World Club Cup in February. We could have an all-Brazilian affair in the final. And it could also be a clash between the two Argentine sides.
Some of the knockout games have been settled via penalties. Which of these semi-final games will require penalties to produce a winner? Which teams will qualify for the final of the Copa Libertadores? Drop your comments below and join the conversation.