2016 Copa Libertadores, Semifinals
  • Bryan Cabezas (62')
  • José Angulo (76')
  • Pablo Pérez (13')
1st Leg
1st Leg

Independiente del Valle stun Boca Juniors in Copa semifinal 1st leg

Independiente del Valle player Bryan Cabezas celebrates after scoring to level the score vs. Boca Juniors. Getty Images

Independiente del Valle will take a 2-1 advantage to Buenos Aires after beating Boca Juniors by that scoreline in the first leg of their Copa Libertadores semifinal in Ecuador on Thursday.

The home side, who have never reached this stage of the competition, used second-half goals from Bryan Cabezas Segura and Jose Angulo to overcome a 13th-minute Pablo Perez strike in what was a thrilling encounter at the Estadio Olimpico Atahualpa.

The Argentine giants got things going early when Fernando Zuqui found Perez cutting across the penalty area and the Boca midfielder slid a right-footed past Independiente's Librado Azcona.

But an attack-minded Independiente stormed back in the second half, and it was Cabezas who collected the equaliser in the 62nd minute -- collecting a cross-field pass on the left before cutting back onto his right foot and curling his shot around Boca goalkeeper Agustín Orion and inside the far post.

With the scored tied, the Ecuadorians did not rest on their laurels, and found a spectacular winner just 14 minutes later. Angulo, flanked at the top of the box by two Boca defenders, took both completely out of the play with a sublime first touch before firing his low shot across a helpless Orion.

Independiente keeper Azcona almost handed Boca a late equaliser when his failure to control a back pass nearly provided Carlos Tevez with an empty-net tap-in but the danger was defused by an alert defender.

Azcona made up for his gaffe just moments later, however, saving Nicolas Lodeiro's point-blank shot from a Boca set piece to maintain the scoreline and give his side a slight leg-up heading into the second leg.

The two teams meet for the second leg on July 14 in Buenos Aires to determine who will play the winner of Sao Paulo and Atletico Nacional in the final.