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Boca Juniors beats Palmeiras on penalties to reach Copa Libertadores final

SAO PAULO (AP) — Argentina’s Boca Juniors beat Brazil’s Palmeiras on penalties n Thursday after a 1-1 draw in regulation time to advance to the Copa Libertadores final.

Boca will travel to play another Brazilian club, Fluminense, in the Nov. 4 final at Maracana Stadium.

The first leg last week in Buenos Aires ended in a goalless draw.

Boca once more had goalkeeper Sergio Romero as its star, as in the previous two knockout rounds decided on penalties. He stopped shots by Raphael Veiga and Gustavo Gómez in the shootout. Palmeiras’ Weverton stopped Edinson Cavani’s shot.

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Boca opened the scoring at the Allianz Parque Stadium in the 9th minute when Miguel Merentiel, a winger loaned by Palmeiras, managed to outrun defender Gustavo Gómez and offered Cavani a low cross that gave the veteran Uruguayan striker the chance to push the ball into the net.

The Argentinians had the match under control until the 66th, when defender Marcos Rojo received a second yellow card and was sent off. Palmeiras stepped up the pressure and equalized in the 73rd with a shot by Joaquim Piquerez from the edge of the box.

The Brazilian club continued to pressure and nearly scored in the last minute of added time with a bycicle kick by Rony, which was saved by Romero.

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Boca’s triumph stops a streak of three consecutive all-Brazilian Copa Libertadores finals.

The Argentinian giant will seek its seventh South American crown, while Fluminense, led by Brazil’s national team coach Fernando Diniz, will try to win its first Copa Libertadores title.

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AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer