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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

River Plate stun Wilstermann with eight goals, advance to Copa semis

Scocco celeb
Ignacio Scocco scored five times in River Plate's thrashing of Jorge Wilstermann.

River Plate reached the semifinals of the Copa Libertadores 8-3 on aggregate after a stunning 8-0 second-leg victory over Jorge Wilstermann at the Estadio Monumental on Thursday.

Former Sunderland forward Ignacio Scocco scored five goals, while an Enzo Perez brace and a strike from Ignacio Fernandez completed the remarkable turnaround in South America's top club competition.

Scocco single-handedly erased the Buenos Aires side's 3-0 first-leg deficit before the 20-minute mark, finding the net in...

 By Tim Vickery

River Plate hit eight past Wilstermann; Lanus survive San Lorenzo in shootout

Scocco celeb River vs Wilstermann 170921
River Plate's Ignacio Scocco celebrates after scoring one of his five goals against Wilstermann in the Copa Libertadores.

There was no fairy tale, and no real tension. On a cold, drizzly night in Buenos Aires, the 3-0 first leg lead established last week by little Jorge Wilstermann of Bolivia slipped away against an irresistible River Plate, who coasted to an 8-0 thrashing thanks in no small part to five goals from Ignacio Scocco.

In the previous round, the Bolivians defended doggedly to secure a goalless draw and eliminate Atletico Mineiro of Brazil. Armed with their three-goal cushion, they had hopes of doing something...

 By Tim Vickery

Bolivia's Jorge Wilstermann seek to soar into Copa Libertadores semifinals

Zenteno
Jorge Wilstermann's Zenteno celebrates after scoring against Atletico Mineiro.

The team named after a pioneer of Bolivian aviation have flown down to Buenos Aires ahead of the most important 90 minutes in their history.

Jorge Wilstermann, from the city of Cochabamba, are one more dogged defensive performance away from making it through to the semifinals of the Copa Libertadores, South America's Champions League. In last week's quarterfinal first leg, they thrashed Argentine giants River Plate by the astonishing margin of 3-0.

Thursday's rematch will be tougher. At home,...

 By Tim Vickery

Copa darlings Wilstermann take big step toward semifinals with victory

Gilbert Alvarez, center, notched Wilstermann's second goal against River Plate as they defended their home field with flair.

The Copa Libertadores lacks the thrilling quality of a Barcelona, a Real Madrid or a PSG. But South America's Champions League equivalent retains the capacity to surprise, to throw up wonderful, unpredictable stories.

Last year's shock team were little Independiente del Valle of Ecuador, who went all the way to the final, beating Buenos Aires giants Boca Juniors home and away in the process. They first caught the continent's attention in the first knockout round, when they squeezed past Boca's great...

 By Tim Vickery

South America's Champions League, the Copa Libertadores, picks up pace

Bolivian side Wilstermann weren't expected to get to the Copa Libertadores quarterfinals and hope to continue their journey by defeating River Plate.

Some three and a half months have passed since the group phase came to an end and the Copa Libertadores field was whittled down to 16 teams. Since then there has only been one more round.

Eight teams remain. By next Thursday there will only be four, and come the end of November the continent will have its champion, just in time to go to the Arab Emirates and take part in the Club World Cup.

By pure coincidence, there is a delightful symmetry about the quarterfinals. Argentina and Brazil each provide...