Pelaez Burga/Sports Press Photo/Imago

Johnny, Internacional Advance to Copa Libertadores Semifinals

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Johnny Cardoso and Internacional booked their place in the semifinals of the Copa Libertadores on Tuesday night as they defeated Bolivar in the second leg of their quarterfinal encounter in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Internacional 2-0 Bolivar (Internacional win 3-0 on aggregate)

Internacional was able to maintain their advantage from the first leg and added more goals as they came away with a comfortable win over Bolivar at the Estadio Jose Pinheiro Borda.

Johnny Cardoso started for the Red, completing 84 percent of his passes, winning eight duels, and making four tackles in 75 minutes of work.

After surviving the altitude of La Paz, Bolivia, and coming away with a deserved 1-0 win, the Brazilian side of course had the advantage but needed to do some work in order to prevent a shock result.

Bolivar came out aggressive at the start of the first half, but it would be the hosts that scored after 11 minutes. Wanderson would intercept the ball at midfield and go on the charge to the 18-yard box where he sent a low cross into the path of Enner Valencia, and the Ecuadorian did not miss as he added to their aggregate score.

Both sides had chances to score the remainder of the first interval, but there was nothing really threatening as Internacional headed to the dressing room with the lead.

It was much of the same as both teams came out for the second half until Valencia bagged the insurance goal that the hosts needed to guarantee their spot in the next round. Alan Patrick played the ball into space and the forward did the rest as he swept the ball to his right to fire a blistering shot past the Bolivar goalkeeper.

The damage was done, but the visitors did have a chance to grab a consolation goal when video replay spotted a handball. Ronnie Fernandez took the spot-kick, but it was well-saved by goalkeeper Sergio Rochet.

Internacional now have the final in their sights, but they must first get through the semifinal. They will know who their opponent will be after Wednesday’s second leg between fellow Brazilian side Fluminense and Olimpia of Paraguay.

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Kenya Brown

Born in America, but raised in Europe and Asia, Kenya has loved soccer ever since his parents put a ball at his feet. While covering some of the top U.S. players around Europe, he loves putting the spotlight on players who are based in leagues off the beaten path. He also interviews coaches and other people in the game to gain more insight.

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