Santos goalkeeper Rafael dedicated his stunning performance against Club America to his mother after he ensured the Brazilians reached the Copa Libertadores quarter-finals – where they will meet either Cruzeiro (3/10 bet365 Match Betting) or Once Caldas (9/1).
The 20-year-old was named man of the match, as Peixe secured a goalless draw in Queretaro to go through 1-0 on aggregate.
Rafael made a string of fine saves to deny the Mexican and knew exactly who was responsible for his display when asked how he did it.
“I dedicate this performance to my mother. I am absolutely certain that if she was here today, she would be the happiest person in the stadium,” said the keeper whose mother passed away when he was a teenager.
One of Rafael’s best moments was a stunning save to keep out a long range effort from Angel Reyna, afterwards describing the encounter as his “best ever game”.
Santos rode their luck with a header from Aquivaldo Mosquera coming back off the post in the first half and America hitting the woodwork again four minutes after the interval, through Paulo Henrique Ganso’s free-kick.
The keeper though extended his run of clean sheets to four ahead of this weekend’s Paulista final against Corinthians.