Copa Libertadores Review: Zarate leads Boca, River draw

Mauro Zarate and Pablo Perez helped Boca Juniors to a win over Cruzeiro in the Copa Libertadores.

Boca Juniors celebrate   -  Getty Images

Boca Juniors took a step towards the Copa Libertadores semi-finals, while River Plate secured a good result away from home on Wednesday.

Boca, six-time Libertadores champions, recorded a 2-0 win over Cruzeiro in the first leg of their quarter-final in Buenos Aires.

Former Lazio, Inter and Fiorentina forward Mauro Zarate opened the scoring nine minutes before half-time, finishing a Pablo Perez pass with the outside of his boot.

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Cruzeiro were dealt another blow 15 minutes before full-time, Dede sent off after a heavy collision with Boca goalkeeper Esteban Andrada, with the video assistant referee (VAR) needed.

The hosts made the most of their numerical advantage with eight minutes remaining, Perez producing a fine strike from the edge of the area.

The result has left Cruzeiro with work to do heading into the second leg on October 4.

In the all-Argentinian tie, Independiente were held to a 0-0 draw at home to River in their first leg.

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