Tite stays cautious ahead of decider
© AFP

Corinthians coach Tite is paying little heed to statistics as the Brazilian side look to finish off Boca Juniors tomorrow night and claim a maiden Copa Libertadores title. Corinthians will head into the second leg of the final at their Pacaembu stadium in buoyant mood after Romarinho's late equaliser earned them a 1-1 draw in last week's first meeting in Buenos Aires.

However, the Sao Paulo outfit cannot be overconfident as, while they are taking part in their first Copa Libertadores final, opponents Boca are old hands at this stage of the competition. The Argentinian giants are playing in the final for a tenth time and a triumph would see them equal the record of seven Libertadores titles currently held by their compatriots Independiente.

Four of Boca's six final wins have come against Brazilian teams, but such facts do not carry any weight for Tite, who was quick to point out he has enjoyed plenty of success against Argentinian sides down the years as well.

He told reporters in Sao Paulo: "I've won all my matches against Argentinians. I've defeated River, Talleres, Boca Juniors, Estudiantes... but this is a different time. Boca and Corinthians are writing their own story on Wednesday. Both are great teams with extraordinary players. We respect Boca and we demand respect from them too."

Despite Tite's insistence that the past has no bearing on tomorrow's match, experienced Boca goalkeeper Agustin Orion has a different view. He not only believes that Boca's former glories in the competition stands them in good stead, but he also feels Brazilian players do not relish playing against their South American rivals.

I've won all my matches against Argentinians. I've defeated River, Talleres, Boca Juniors, Estudiantes... but this is a different time.
Corinthians coach Tite ahead of tomorrow's Copa Libertadores final second-leg with Boca Junoirs

"We have a great team and to have four or five players who already won the Libertadores is a bit of an advantage for us," the Argentina international told Fox Sports. "Brazilian players feel uncomfortable when facing Argentinians. Boca's history weighs heavy. Hopefully we can continue adding to that. We'll go to Brazil to win and take the cup back to Argentina. When you reach the finals, you must win them."

Tite has confirmed the same starting line-up that played the first game for the second leg, but Boca coach Julio Falcioni looks set to have to replace his side's goal hero from last week Facundo Roncaglia due to insurance reasons. Defender Roncaglia's contract with Boca expired after the first leg and he is set to join Fiorentina next season.

While Roncaglia's participation remains in the air, Boca have agreed a deal with Ajax for on-loan striker Dario Cvitanich to remain with the club for another week. Looking ahead to tomorrow's game, Boca defender Matias Caruzzo is expecting the second leg to be a similarly close affair as the match at La Bombonera.

He said: "It could be quite the same because neither of the teams will give the other any advantage. Leaving aside the draw, we knew the tie would be defined in Brazil, in the second leg. That is why we are so calm ahead of that game."

The away-goals rule is not used at this stage of the competition, so if the score is level at 90 minutes tomorrow then the match will go to extra-time before penalties.