Footballer Bruno Henrique scored a brace to help Flamengo beat Brazilian rivals Internacional 2-0 in the first leg of their Copa Libertadores quarterfinal on Thursday (IST).

Henrique in the 75th minute initiated things for the hosts by breaking the deadlock at the Maracana stadium.

Henrique, who last week earned a maiden Brazil call-up for September friendlies against Peru and Colombia, then showed superb skill by controlling a Gabriel Barbosa pass and turning in the same motion before firing another shot past goalkeeper Marcelo Lomba, Xinhua news agency reported.

The second goal from the Brazilian forward came within 4 minutes of his first goal. And before Internacional could sense the danger, they were trailing 2-0.

Flamengo overplayed Internacional in all aspects be it ball possession, passes or pass accuracy.

The result means that even a loss by a margin of one goal in next week’s return leg in Porto Alegre will be enough for Flamengo to progress to the semifinals of South America’s premier club competition.

In Thursday’s other quarterfinal, six-time champions Boca Juniors won 3-0 against LDU Quito.

Ramon Abila gave the visitors an early lead in the 11th minute before Jefferson Orejuela was shown a straight red card for a rash challenge on Emanuel Reynoso just before halftime.

Reynoso then made it 2-0 just after the interval, in the 47th minute to be precise, after which Kevin Minda was dismissed for abusive language toward the referee Emanuel Reynoso. LDU Quito’s night went from bad to worse when Luis Caicedo turned the ball into his own net nine minutes from time.

(With inputs from IANS)