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Corinthians win Copa Libertadores for 1st time

05 Jul 2012 07:16:52

Corinthians win Copa Libertadores for 1st time

Brazil's Corinthians won the Copa Libertadores for the first time, defeating Argentina's Boca Juniors 2-0 in the second leg of the final before an ecstatic home crowd of 40,000.

The Corinthians late Wednesday prevailed 3-1 on aggregate as the two teams drew the first leg 1-1 in Buenos Aires last month.

Striker Emerson scored twice in the second half (in the 54th minute and the 72nd), denying Boca Juniors a seventh continental crown in their tenth appearance in the final of South America's elite club competition.

The Sao Paulo side had never previously gone past the semi-finals of the Copa Libertadores.

But they won plaudits this year by beating Neymar-inspired holders Santos 2-1 on aggregate in the last four.

The Corinthians, the reigning Brazilian champions, coached by Tite, also beat Vasco da Gama in the quarter-finals and did not lose a game on their run to the final.

Their historic win sparked scenes of wild jubilation by tens of thousands of fans both inside the Paceambu stadium and throughout this huge metropolitan area of 20 million people.

Amid exploding fireworks, Captain Alessandro lifted the trophy and passed it on to his colleagues before they all set off on a victory lap as die-hard supporters danced and chanted: "The Cup is ours!" and "We are the champions!"

"It's great to be here, to wear this jersey," said a beaming Emerson.

"We are going to celebrate now. We have to celebrate a lot. We deserve it. We don't have a star, but we are a very strong team and Emerson had an exceptional night," said Paulinho.

Tite underscored the "friendship" among his players, whom he praised as a "solid, strong and organized group."


AFP

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