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Late drama as Boca, Corinthians reach Copa semis

updated 10:16 AM EDT, Thu May 24, 2012
Santiago Silva celebrates his crucial late goal as Boca Juniors reached the Copa Libertadores semifinals.
Santiago Silva celebrates his crucial late goal as Boca Juniors reached the Copa Libertadores semifinals.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Boca Juniors reach Copa Libertadores final after beating Fluminense of Brazil
  • Six-time champions advance 2-1 on aggregate through Santiago Silva's late goal
  • Corinthians of Brazil reach the last four with a defeat of Vasco da Gama
  • Rio de Janeiro side trying to win the competition for the first time

(CNN) -- Two of South America's most famous clubs reached the semifinals of the Copa Libertadores after late drama in their last-eight matches on Wednesday.

Argentina's Boca Juniors, six-time winners of the continent's premier club competition, snatched a 2-1 aggregate win over Brazil's Fluminense thanks to a 90th-minute goal from Uruguayan Santiago Silva.

Having lost the first leg 1-0 in Buenos Aires, Fluminense leveled the tie in front of their own fans when Thiago Carleta's deflected shot found its way past Boca goalkeeper Agustin Orion.

But Silva's late strike sealed a 2-1 aggregate win for Boca and Julio Cesar Falconi's team will play Chile's Universidad de Chile or Paraguay's Libertad in the semifinals. That tie is level at 1-1 ahead of Thursday's second leg at Universidad's Estadio Nacional in Santiago.

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Fluminense's coach Abel Braga was disappointed to see his team eliminated after dominating the second leg.

"It was incredible. Our keeper had a very quiet night, they only attacked one time and it was a goal," Braga was quoted as saying on FIFA's official website.

In an all-Brazilian tie, Corinthians defeated Vasco da Gama 1-0 on aggregate as the Sao Paulo club continued their bid for a first Libertadores crown.

Vasco, based in Rio de Janeiro, went close on several occasions before Corinthians -- one of Brazil's most successful clubs --delighted home supporters with Paulinho's match-winning header after 87 minutes.

"This qualification was the merit of the entire team, and I think it was well deserved," said midfielder Paulinho. "Now, we have to rest and start thinking of our next rivals."

Corinthians will play defending champions Santos of Brazil or Argentina's 1994 winners Velez Sarsfield for a place in the final.

Velez hold a slim 1-0 lead heading into the second leg in Sao Paulo.

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