Copa Libertadores: Inter claim second title (+video)
Internacional clinched their second Copa Libertadores title in Porto Alegre last night getting the better of Chivas Guadalajara 5-3 on aggregate. There was an expectant 56,000 crowd for the match held at Internacional’s Estádio Beira-Rio home ground and they were hoping that there wouldn’t be further Brazilian disappointment after second-leg home losses to Grêmio, Fluminense (albeit after a penalty shoot-out) and Cruzeiro in the last three finals. The signs were positive after Inter had defeated Chivas 2-1 in the first leg in Guadalajara and O Colorado wanted to reclaim the title they’d won for the first time in 2006 in a dramatic final against compatriots São Paulo.
The Mexicans, however, were prepared to make a bit of a fight of it in the first half and Chivas would eventually make their breakthrough two minutes before the half-time interval when Marco Fabián was on hand to score the opening goal of the game with a splendid overhead kick and, thus, make the home support a little edgier going into the second half. Inter’s experience meant that they would eventually have a say in the match and once Rafael Sóbis equalized in the 61st minute there was no turning back for the hosts. Strikes from second half substitutes Leandro Damião (76 mins) and Giuliano (89 mins) ensured that the party started early in the stands with Patricio Araújo’s consolation goal in stoppage time proving academic. When Colombian Oscar Ruiz blew the whistle for full-time the celebrations were already in full flow but moments later a fight broke out after Chivas’ goalscorer Fabián alleged that he’d been punched by an Inter supporter which then started an altercation between the two teams. After the teams had been separated the stage was set for Internacional captain Bolívar to hoist the trophy into the heavens and signal the club as Bi-Campeão (two-time winners) and secure a place at the 2010 FIFA Club World Cup in which they’ll expect a truly “international” contest against European champions Internazionale FC in the final.
WATCH COPA LIBERTADORES FINAL 2ND LEG HIGHLIGHTS HERE: