Independiente del Valle shock Boca Juniors to reach first ever Copa final

Independiente del Valle are one step away from completing one of the greatest stories the Copa Libertadores has ever seen.  

Independiente defeated Argentinian giants Boca Juniors 3-2, securing a spot in the final against Colombian team Atlético Nacional.

Independiente have been underdogs in every sense of the word. Shock-waves rippled through Argentina, as the small time Ecuadorian’s knocked-off Boca Juniors and their rivals and current Copa champions River Plate.

The Copa Libertadores is the South American equivalent to the European Champions League, hosting the best teams from the continent.


HISTORY IN THE MAKING

Independiente are only the third Ecuadorian team to make the final of the prestigious tournament, and refuse to stop believing.

Many expected Boca Juniors to overcome a 2-1 away deficit in their second leg in front of a sold-out home crowd at La Bombonera. 

Boca got off to the perfect start, flustering the Ecuadorian defence with an early goal from Cristian Pavon.

The 65 time Argentina Champions failed to capitalise on a number of attacking chances, led by star man Carlos Tevez.

When it seemed that Independiente were going to crumble under the pressure, they hit back with another unexpected reply.

A poorly defended corner saw an unmanned Luis Caicedo strike a left footed shot past Boca Juniors keeper Agustín Orion.

Orion’s nightmare was just getting started as Bryan Cabezas returned to haunt Orion with a goal to put the minnows ahead.

It got even worse for Orion, making the mistake of his career handing Julio Angulo a goal on a silver platter.

A late consolation from Pavon wasn’t enough to see Boca Juniors through.

The dream continues for Independiente del Valle, winning the semi-final tie 5-3 on aggregate.

The Final between Independiente del Valle and Columbia’s Atlético Nacional will be played over two legs starting on July 20.

It’s not quiet Leicester City, but this certainly has the potential to be one of the greatest Cinderella stories South American football has ever seen.

Ari Charilaou