Riquelme Double Seals Boca Triumph

Juan Roman Riquelme scored two second-half goals as Boca Juniors beat Gremio 2-0 away on Wednesday to win the Copa Libertadores.

Juan Roman Riquelme (top) of Argentina's Boca Juniors celebrates with his team mates

Riquelme, playing the final match of his spell on loan from Spain's Villareal, took his tally to eight goals as the Argentines completed a 5-0 aggregate win over their Brazilian opponents in the two-leg final.

The playmaker scored with a superb long-range effort in the 69th minute and slid home a rebound nine minutes from time.

Boca striker Martin Palermo, who famously missed three penalties for Argentina against Colombia at the Copa America in 1999, spared Gremio further punishment when he missed an 85th-minute penalty.

It was the sixth time Boca have won the competition, leaving them only one short of compatriots Independiente's record of seven titles.

Twice former champions Gremio, needing to overturn a 3-0 first-leg deficit, were given a rousing reception by the 45,000 crowd at the Olimpico stadium, who were hoping for a historic fightback.

Boca had a sleepless night on the eve of the game after a group of Gremio fans let off firecrackers in front of the team hotel.

They were also given a hostile reception at the stadium, where fans jeered as the Argentine national anthem was played.

But when play began it was Gremio who looked nervous, committing a succession of fouls as they struggled to settle while Boca looked menacing on the break.

Gremio's best effort came from Diego Souza, who crashed a shot against the crossbar just before halftime.

The hosts were close again after the break, when Rolando Schiavi's header hit the post and, from the rebound, Diego Souza shot weakly at Mauricio Caranta.

Riquelme, who has inspired Boca's campaign, ended Gremio's hopes with a stunning effort, collecting a short pass and scoring with a dipping cross-shot which flew over Sebastian Saja.

Twelve minutes later, Rodrigo Palacio broke down the right and, although Saja saved his shot, Riquelme scrambled home the rebound.

In the 85th minute, Boca were awarded a penalty when Schiavi, a former Boca player, was judged to have fouled Palermo. But the burly striker, a cult figure among Boca fans, fired wide of the post.

Source FIFA

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