- River (4 titles), Santos (3), Palmeiras (1) and Boca (6) aim for the final.
- Three of these four clubs have shone in recent editions.
- The final will be played at the Maracanã on January 30.
Boca Juniors, Santos, River Plate and Palmeiras are in the semi-finals of the Copa Libertadores and are seeking qualification for the grand final, which will be played at the legendary Maracanã stadium in Rio de Janeiro. FIFA.com takes stock of the quarter-finals and an update on the forces present in view of the upcoming games.
Boca, a timely reaction
- First leg: Racing Club 1-0 Boca Juniors
- Back: Boca Juniors 2-0 Racing Club
Boca Juniors pulled out all the stops on the comeback, turning the tables in a double knockout tie for the first time since 2007. These are the Xeneizes qualified for their third consecutive semi-final, a first in their history.
If Carlos Tevez shone again, Eduardo Salvio was also decisive. This is the club’s top scorer with six units, which is the best harvest for a Boca player in the competition since Martín Palermo’s seven goals in 2008.
Did you know ?
- Current Boca coach Miguel Russo was in charge during the club’s last continental title in 2007.
- Boca has the best defense of the clubs still in contention: he has conceded only three goals, one less than Palmeiras.
Santos, without making any noise
- Aller: Grêmio 1-1 Santos
- Retour: Santos 4-1 Grêmio
It is almost discreetly that the Fish got rid of one of the most regular clubs in recent years, which allowed him to reach the last four for the first time since 2012. Under the leadership of Cuca, crowned with Atlético Mineiro in 2013 , the Paulistas know how to respond present in key moments. They can no longer hide their status as candidates for the title.
Author of three goals in the double confrontation (including a double on the return which allowed him to open his home counter), Kaio Jorge weighed heavily on the debates. He is his team’s top scorer with five goals in nine games. But it was above all thanks to his defensive strength that Santos put himself in a position to run for his fifth Libertadores final. The proof: he largely beat Grêmio despite a possession of only 30.8%.
Did you know ?
- Kaio Jorge took 11 seconds to open the scoring in the second leg. It is the fifth fastest goal in the history of the competition.
- Kaio Jorge (5) and Marinho (4) signed 52.94% of goals santistas (9 of 17).
Palmeiras on its way
- Aller: Libertad 1-1 Palmeiras
- Retour: Palmeiras 3-0 Libertad
Holder of the best record in the group stage and the only club still undefeated in this edition, Palmeiras has provided further proof of his maturity and pragmatism against Libertad. Authors of a good performance despite their status as less good second in the group stage, the Paraguayans paid dearly for each of their mistakes. The Brazilians have averaged three goals over their last four meetings.
Led by the Portuguese Abel, the Green went on their tenth unbeaten game, tying their best unbeaten streak in the competition. This time, the performance is all the more remarkable since it was carried out on the same edition. Palmeiras advance to the semi-finals for the second time in the past three years.
Did you know ?
- Brazilian Rony gave an assist and scored a goal in the second leg. With seven offerings, he is the best passer in the competition, tied with Argentina’s Matías Suárez.
- Author of four goals in this Libertadores, the 25-year-old striker contributed 11 of his team’s 29 goals (39.93%).
Insatiable River Plate
- Aller: River 2-0 Nacional
- Return: Nacional 2-6 River
A finalist last year, River is the only club still in the running to qualify for the final four in the last four editions of the competition. The Blood Band is preparing to play in the semi-finals for the fifth time in six years (with the sacred at stake in 2015 and 2018). The Millionaires aspire to play their third consecutive final, a feat that has not been achieved for 27 years (Sāo Paulo, between 1992 and 1994).
The great architect of this success is Marcelo Gallardo, who has found the right adjustments to maintain the level of performance of his team. Thus, the protected Wrist easily disposed of their opponent despite the absence of key players like Enzo Pérez or Ignacio Fernández. The opportunity for young people like the Uruguayan Nicolás de la Cruz and the Colombian Jorge Carrascal to show the extent of their talent.
Did you know ?
- River are the most prolific club in the competition with 31 goals in 10 matches. It is now only three units from the competition record in the 20th century (São Paulo, 34 goals in 14 games in 2005). Its most effective scorers are Santos Borré (6), author of a hat-trick against Nacional, and Julián Álvarez (5).
- Full-back Gonzalo Montiel gave three assists during the double confrontation. In total, he has six, one less than his teammate Matías Suárez, co-leader of the passers’ standings with the Brazilian Rony.
The semi-finals program (in local time)
River Plate – Palmeiras
- Outbound: 05/01/2021 (9:30 p.m.)
- Return: 12/01/2021 (9:30 p.m.)
Boca Juniors – Santos
- Outbound: 01/06/2021 (7.15 p.m.)
- Return: 10/13/2021 (7.15 p.m.)