Atletico Junior are heading to the Liga Postobon final after capping off a miracle comeback with a penalty shootout win in their semi-final against Millonarios.
Sitting on a three goal lead after the first leg, Millonarios again started brighter. But Junior were offered a glimmer of hope when Juan Valancia struck from a free kick after 14 minutes. The Millonarios wall and goalkeeper had lined up expecting an attempt on goal from Giovanni Hernandez and were caught off guard when instead it was Valencia who lashed the ball into the top left corner. Junior were right back in the tie 15 minutes later when Carlos Bacca found space on the right to whip in a low cross that was met by a header from the charging Vladimir Hernadez.
The second half was played at a frenzied pace, with Junior desperately searching for the one goal needed to complete their comeback and Millonarios frantically trying to reassert their authority and re-establish a comfortable cushion.
Both teams spurned good chances before the 60th minute; Giovanni Hernadez finished after quick passing from Junior tore through the Millonarios defenses.
A distraught Millonarios pushed for the one goal that would see them through, but by the time the game entered the last ten minutes, it was clear both teams were spent and ready to settle for a penalty shoot-out. In contrast to Millonarios’ marathon shoot-out against Envigado in the quarter-finals, this time the contest was settled with the first kick. Millonarios midfielder Mayer Candelo stepped up but could only strike it straight at keeper Diego Viera, who guessed the right direction. Neither team missed another spot kick, leaving a delirious Junior 5-4 winners and heading to the final.
The second semi-final with Santa Fe and Once Caldas was postponed after heavy rain left a water-logged pitch. Play is now scheduled for 11am Thursday.