Nacional edge towards maiden Libertadores final
© AFP

Paraguay's Nacional edged closer to their first ever appearance in the Copa Libertadores final with a 2-0 win over Defensor Sporting of Uruguay in the first leg of the semi-finals on Tuesday.

After the FIFA World Cup™ break, the Copa Libertadores resumed with a convincing win by the surprise semi-finalists, giving them a decent cushion ahead of the second leg in Montevideo next Tuesday.

Brian Montenegro opened the scoring in the 34th minute, beating Defensor goalkeeper Martin Campana with a left-footed strike after being teed up by Julian Benitez. Derlis Orue then volleyed home the second from a corner kick in the 70th minute.

Montenegro, who signed for the club from Libertad only days before the match, told Fox Sports: "I'm very happy to get this goal on my debut and it gave me and the team confidence for the rest of the game.

"Now we'll do our best in Uruguay. It is a good score but they are strong at home. We must hold the lead and see if we can score one more."

The winners of the tie will face either Argentinian giants San Lorenzo or Bolivia's Bolivar, who play the first leg of their semi-final in Buenos Aires on Wednesday.