BUENOS AIRES, Sept 22 (Reuters) - River Plate cruelly ended Bolivian rank outsiders Wilstermann’s dream Libertadores Cup run when the Argentine side overturned a three-goal deficit with an 8-0 second leg rout in their quarter-final clash.
Former AEK Athens and Sunderland forward Ignacio Scocco instigated one of the most remarkable comebacks in competition history by scoring a hat-trick between the ninth and 19th minutes of Thursday’s match.
Midfielder Enzo Perez added a fourth in the 36th minute, then two more goals from Scocco and one from Ignacio Fernandez early in the second half made it 7-0 before the hour. Perez completed the rout with his second in the 67th minute.
“That will be one of our most remembered games, it will stay in the memory of all of us and our supporters,” River coach Marcelo Gallardo told reporters.
The Libertadores Cup has never been won by a Bolivian team and the visitors, named after the country’s first commercial pilot Jorge Wilstermann, had far exceeded expectations by reaching the quarter-finals.
The team, known as the Aviators, play their home games at 2,500 metres above sea level in Cochabamba, which gives them an advantage but is not high enough to be the determining factor in their remarkable run.
“I have nowhere to hide after conceding eight goals. I‘m entirely to blame,” Wilstermann coach Roberto Mosquera lamented.
Argentine side Lanus, Brazil’s Gremio and Ecuador’s Barcelona are the other semi-finalists. (Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by John O‘Brien)