20 de abril de 2019
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Atletico Nacional wins Copa Colombia, books spot in 2019 Copa Libertadores

Medellin, Colombia, Nov 2 (efe-epa).- Atletico Nacional defeated Once Caldas 4-3 on aggregate to win the Copa Colombia and secure a berth in the 2019 edition of the Copa Libertadores, South America's premier club soccer competition.

Medellin, Colombia, Nov 2 (efe-epa).- Atletico Nacional defeated Once Caldas 4-3 on aggregate to win the Copa Colombia and secure a berth in the 2019 edition of the Copa Libertadores, South America's premier club soccer competition.

The hard-fought final at Atanasio Girardot Stadium in this northwestern city was tied at 3-3 late in the second-half of Thursday night's second leg and appeared to be headed for a penalty shootout, but defender Daniel Bocanegra curled in the game winner on a free kick one minute into the final stoppage-time period.

Nacional took a 3-2 lead on aggregate in first-half injury time on a shot in the area by Vladimir Hernandez that ricocheted off a defender and past net minder Jose Cuadrado, who had made a phenomenal save at point-blank range in the 23rd minute.

That goal appeared to be a crushing blow for the visitors, who had had to adjust their attacking scheme after losing forward David Lemos to injury in the 32nd minute.

But Lemos' replacement, Johan Carbonero, tied the aggregate score at 3-3 in the 75th minute when he managed to power a left-footed shot past Nacional keeper Cristian Vargas even though his momentum was taking him away from the goal.

The two-legged final would have come down to penalties, but Bocanegra avoided a deciding shootout by scoring the winner in regulation.

Cuadrado initially appeared to have kept that free kick out of the goal with a diving save, but the referee correctly ruled that the ball had crossed the line.

Once Caldas and Atletico Nacional played to a 2-2 draw in last week's first leg at Palogrande Stadium in Manizales.

With its latest Copa Colombia title, Atletico Nacional has won that cup competition four times in the past seven years.

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