Neymar helps Santos beat the Strongest 2-0

Rio de Janeiro, April 20: Neymar scored a goal and set up another, as Santos topped their group with a 2-0 victory over the Strongest in the Copa Libertadores here Friday.

The Brazilian club had to wait until the 80th minute before finding a way past the Bolivians’ stoic defence at the Vila Belmiro stadium. The breakthrough came via a curling cross from Neymar which was headed into the net by Alan Kardec.

Two minutes later the home side doubled its lead when Borges combined with Neymar slid a shot through goalkeeper Daniel Vaca.

Former Manchester City midfielder Elano returned to Santos’ starting line-up but struggled to make an impact and was replaced by Felipe Anderson in the 77th minute.

The result meant Santos ended the tournament’s first phase as leaders of Group 1 with 13 points from six games.

Compatriots Internacional also advanced to the next stage of the competition despite a 0-1 loss to Peru’s Juan Aurich in Chiclayo.

Luis Tejada was the lone goalscorer for the home team, hitting the back of the net with a 14th-minute header.

IANS