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By ESPN Staff

Corinthians net late equaliser

Boca Juniors and Corinthians played out a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the Copa Libertadores final, a result the Brazilian team celebrated more than their Argentinian opponents.

A late goal by young forward Romarinho saw Corinthians level when Boca were on the brink of winning the first leg of the title decider in Buenos Aires having taken the lead through Facundo Roncaglia.

Corinthians midfielder Paulinho made Agustin Orion work early on as the keeper turned a powerful shot out for a corner in the seventh minute.

Corinthians coach Tite was forced to replace injured forward Jorge Henrique with Liedson six minutes before half-time and Boca struggled to get to grips with him. But in the 73rd minute Boca took the lead.

After a corner kick by Pablo Mouche from the left, Santiago Silva headed the ball and, via the hand of Corinthians defender Chicao, it hit the post.

The ball rebounded to defender Roncaglia, though, who knocked in the rebound and the goal stood.

Ten minutes later, Romarinho came on for Danilo and he added some speed and quality to the Corinthians attack.

In the 85th minute Paulinho stole the ball off Juan Roman Riquelme and passed it to Emerson, who then assisted Romarinho. The 21-year-old beat Orion to equalise and silence the Boca fans.

Boca had the last opportunity to win the game in injury time, but a Lucas Viatri header hit the bar.

The return match will be played at the Estadio Pacaembu in Sao Paulo next Wednesday. The away-goals rule is not used at this stage.

Romarinho told Fox Sports: "I am very happy to have helped the team. Tite told me to play close to the sides and use my speed. We are happy because we were the away side, we were down and managed to equalise.''

His team-mate Alex added: "We drew because of the big star we have in the squad (Romarinho), but we know we did not play the way we can. We need to play much better if we want to win the title. Boca are a very tough team.''

Boca defender Matias Caruzo was disappointed with the result, saying: "It's a shame, but we are fine, we know there are 90 minutes left. We tried to win the game from the first minute. We took the initiative and we'll try to do so in Brazil. We could have won it and maybe we are a little bit angry about that.''

Boca are trying to win their seventh Copa Libertadores title, while Corinthians are playing in their first final.


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