SAO PAULO (AP) – Boca Juniors remains confident it can win a record-tying seventh Copa Libertadores title on Wednesday despite having to overcome a disappointing result at home against Corinthians last week in the first leg of the final.
Boca Juniors allowed a late goal in the 1-1 draw in Buenos Aires and it will have to try to rebound in front of the raucous fans of the popular Brazilian team, which is trying to win its first ever title in Latin America's most important club competition.
Corinthians is yet to lose in this year's Copa Libertadores and has allowed only one goal when playing at Pacaembu Stadium in Sao Paulo.
Boca Juniors striker Santiago Silva says Corinthians will likely play better at home than it did in Argentina, but Boca is more than capable of earning the title.
''We know it's going to be hard, but we will be focused and ready,'' the Uruguayan striker said. ''Corinthians didn't create any chances (in the first leg) and got a draw that they didn't deserve.''
The Brazilians scored the equalizer with an 85th-minute goal by substitute striker Romarinho as Boca Juniors pressured to increase its lead. The Argentine side struck the crossbar and nearly got the win near the end of the match at La Bombonera, but Corinthians held on to send an even result back to Sao Paulo.
''They'll obviously try to attack more playing at home,'' said Silva, who had an unsuccessful stint with Corinthians in 2002. ''But we will do the same. It's a final and the winner of the match will become the champion.''
Another draw on Wednesday will prompt a penalty shootout. Away goals do not count as double in the final.
Corinthians coach Tite is hoping that playing in front of the nearly 40,000 fans expected to pack Pacaembu will make the difference.
''The fans have been crucial so far and they will be again in this match,'' Tite said.
Corinthians is the only top club in Sao Paulo yet to win the Copa Libertadores and fans have been filling the stadium from the beginning of this year's tournament in hopes that the team will finally break through.
Without many stars, Corinthians has been thriving thanks to a stellar defensive scheme that has allowed only four goals in 13 matches. It reached the final by eliminating Neymar and defending champion Santos in the semifinals.
But Boca Juniors, which hadn't played in the last two Copa Libertadores, has been improving as the tournament has progressed. It hasn't lost an away match so far, winning three and drawing three.
In addition, Boca Juniors has played well against Brazilian clubs, especially in finals. Three of its last four titles came against Brazilian sides - Gremio in 2007, Santos in 2003 and Palmeiras in 2000.
The Argentine powerhouse, playing in its 10th final, will be trying to win its fifth title in 12 years. The team also won the 2001 tournament, beating Mexico's Cruz Azul in the final.
The seventh title would tie Boca Juniors with fellow Argentine club Independiente as the most successful team in the history of the Copa Libertadores.
Corinthians is the defending Brazilian champion but it has never had much success internationally. It won the inaugural Club World Cup in 2000, when it was invited as the host team and the international clubs didn't take the competition too seriously, but never thrived much outside of Brazil.
Tite will be able to count on midfielder Jorge Henrique, who had been listed as doubtful to play after injuring his right thigh in the first leg. He practiced with the starters on Monday, though, and will likely start on Wednesday.
It was still unclear whether Boca Juniors coach Julio Cesar Falcioni will be able to count on defender Facundo Roncaglia, who scored last week. His contract expired after the first leg and Boca was waiting to see if it could set up a special insurance to allow him to play in Sao Paulo.
Brazilian media said the right back would miss the match because a deal hadn't been reached in time, but Boca Juniors was yet to make the official announcement late Tuesday.