A first-half Neri Cardozo goal helped 10-man Boca Juniors to a 1-0 victory over Tunisia’s Etoile Sahel and a place in the Club World Cup final.
Cardozo scored in 37th minute and the Argentine side held on despite a red card midway through the second half for defender Fabian Vargas.
“I don’t think Vargas deserved a red card but we have good players to cover for his absence in the final,” Boca coach Miguel Angel Russo complained afterwards.
“We still dominated with 10 players and created a lot of chances. Milan must beat Urawa first but if we face them we will need to improve, particularly in midfield.”
Cardozo hammered home the winner from close range after a through ball from Rodrigo Palacio.
Boca were reduced to 10 men when Colombian Vargas was sent off after receiving a second yellow card for a dangerous tackle on Etoile substitute Mahdi Ben Dhifallah.
Despite the loss, Etoile coach Bertrand Marchand was proud of his players efforts.
“We played one of the best games in our history,” he said.
“Boca are one of the world’s top sides and we gave them a difficult game. They have the quality to score goals out of nothing – different class. One bit of magic won the game.”
Milan and Urawa meet in the other semi-final on Thursday.