Libertadores Cup 2007
GREMIO [Bra] v BOCA JRS [Arg]
June 20, 2007
A thick atmosphere surrounds this 2nd leg. Gremio's management has created a tense climate prior to this return leg ... not giving any courtesies nor hospitality to Boca's delegation. The yellow press in Porto Alegre has picked from there to incentivate the fans to "win" the game for their club. The consequence ... a beligerant mood that has created a semi-warzone, miltary police to protect Boca's players included. The 2700+ Boca fans travelling to Porto Alegre are in a "liberated" zone that can offer little to protect them ... including the assignment of the lower level of the stands. They are indeed "caged" by Gremio fans, following aggressions to fans and media prior to the game.
Gremio will line-up their best team except for Sandro Goiano who was red carded in the first leg. At home, Gremio hasn't received a single goal, winning the last 5 after tieing 0-0 their first game. It is an uphill task to win by 3 goals to force extra time ... there is no away goal rule in the final of Libertadores.
Boca has taken the game with caution. The 3-0 lead of the first half provides a cushion to rest on, but no one can feel over confident. Coach Russo repeats the same line-up of the first leg, when most anticipated the inclusion of an extra defensive midfielder. The intention is to have Gremio on their backheels instead of bunkering down the result. Boca is searching for their 6th Libertadores title, and 4th since 2000. Their last loss in Brazil for Libertadores was over a decade ago.