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Goalie Victor Hero Again as Atletico Mineiro Reaches Copa Lib Final

  • ESPN FC, Friday, July 12, 2013 4:34 PM
Atletico Mineiro overturned a 2-0 first-leg deficit on Wednesday to defeat Newell’s Old Boys on penalties to reach the Copa Libertadores final, where it will play Paraguayan giant Olimpia in another two-leg series. The first leg of the final series will be played in Asuncion next Wednesday with the return leg in Belo Horizonte the following week.

Goals from Bernard and Guilherme evened the score on aggregate at 2-2, bringing the series to overtime and eventually penalties. Ronaldinho sliced the Newell’s defense open with a superb through ball that was duly dispatched by Bernard in the third minute. However, as Newell’s settled into the game, a second goal for Mineiro looked unlikely until substitute Guilherme met Diego Mateo’s weak clearance with a powerful right-footed strike from 20 yards five minutes into stoppage time in the second half. 

Atletico goalkeeper Victor was the hero during the shootout, saving Maxi Rodriguez’s effort with the score tied 2-2 after four kickers each. Victor thanked Atletico’s backroom staff for helping him analyze Newell’s shootout win against Boca Juniors in the quarterfinal. "I watched those shots against Boca and I have to thank the data staff who gave me the necessary information," he said, adding: "We've become stronger as the campaign went on. We are stronger because of what we've done so far this year. We've played a great Copa Libertadores this year. We are focused on the final."

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