Thursday, 23 June 2011

Copa Libertadores Final Second Leg

Santos 2-1 Peñarol
Santos wins 4-1 on points

After 48 years between drinks, Santos are finally Copa Libertadores champions for the first time since 1963 after they defeated Peñarol at the Pacaembu in São Paulo. After the Peñarol fans put a show on last week this time fireworks and huge home support welcomed the sides onto the pitch.

Santos were much the better side on the in the opening exchanges enjoying the lions share of possession and look to attack down the flanks at any opportunity. Elano tested Peñarol keeper Sebastian Sosa early door but the keeper was more than up to the task posed by the for Manchester City player's shot. Later in the half, it was Elano again who tested Sosa from a free kick but the keeper was perfectly positioned to keep out the attempt.

The breakthrough came a minute into the second half, Arouco allowed time and space to wade through the Peñarol defence and he found Neymar who beat Sosa at his near post. After his first half efforts it was a poor effort from the Peñarol goalkeeper who could have done a lot more to keep the shot out. The second came twenty minutes from time, Danilo getting down the right cutting into the penalty area and his well placed left foot shot was out of the reach of Sosa. Cue the Pacaembu going wild as the home fans, and Pelé in a rather fetching red jacket, were finally beginning to believe this was their year.

Not that the Santos fans had a comfortable last ten minutes after Durval deflected a cross into his own net to leave the Uruguayan side a chance of forcing extra time and another thirty minutes to try and claim their sixth crown. But Santos held on and nearly extended their leas but Neymar hit the post and they held on to lift the trophy for a third time and claim a place at the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan in December.

Before the presentation came the stupidity, some good old fashioned South American football biffo. Started by a few stray Santos fans who made it on to the Pacaembu pitch, the boots were flying and arms were waving as they two sides traded insults. It all seemed to calm down before a Peñarol player came flying in Bruce Lee style, the Military Police decided to step in a split the two factions up so the presentation could be started.

So, after finally getting the trophy the party started, Muricy Ramalho and Pelé celebrated hand in hand and the party continued late into the night. A good job the CBF have given Santos the weekend off by rescheduling their game.

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