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Copa Libertadores

  • 23 June 2011
  • • 01:50
  • • Estádio Municipal Paulo Machado de Carvalho, São Paulo, São Paulo
  • Referee: S. Pezzotta
2
FT
1

Santos win Aggregate 2 - 1

Santos 2-1 Penarol: Neymar scores as Brazilians are crowned kings of South America after second leg victory

Santos 2-1 Penarol: Neymar scores as Brazilians are crowned kings of South America after second leg victory

Santos.globo.com

After the 0-0 draw in Montevideo, it was the Brazilians who found the net twice, earning South America's top honour with goals from the in-demand starlet and Danilo



Nearly five decades after winning two consecutive Copa Libertadores titles, the 2011 edition belongs to Santos after the talented Brazilians struck twice in the second half to take down Penarol 2-1 in the second leg after a 0-0 draw in the first.

Neymar, who may have played his last game for the club as his transfer to Europe looks certain, found the net for Santos with a well-placed shot to the front post two minutes into the second half.

That was followed when Danilo placed an effort inside the back post after infiltrating the box with a clever cut inside, leading the Peixe to South America's top club crown.

A late own goal Durval made no difference to the final outcome as the home side held on for the victory.

It was a fantastic display by Santos who had trouble breaking through the Penarol defence in the early going. Though the show of fireworks failed to match those of Montevideo a week ago, the play of Santos certainly surpassed that of the first leg.

With Penarol failing to produce much offensively, Santos punished their opponents with two fine strikes to lift the title for the third time.

Santos were the better side early on, possessing the ball while looking to play down the wings. The Manya defence held tough, keeping the mighty Brazilians at bay.

The Peixe's best chance early on came when Elano tested Sebastian Sosa from deep, firing a shot that was saved at the post.

After 15 minutes, Santos had nearly 70 percent of the possession, but nothing to show of it. Attempts to play wide and through the middle failed time and time against the Uruguayans.

Both defences were strong early on, but then an error nearly cost the visitors.

At the half-hour mark, Alejandro Gonzalez took down Neymar after a pass from Ganso sent him through.

The defender was given a yellow card, and Elano went for the top corner of the far post with the free kick, but it was saved well by Sosa, who knocked the ball wide after positioning himself well. 

Just a minute into the second half, Neymar looked to erase the nearly 50-year drought with his stellar finish to the front post.

Arouco dismantled the Penarol defence, dancing through the half before finding Neymar at the side of the box where the little man put the ball perfectly past Sosa.

The fans inside the stadium began to cry, jump, laugh and cheer as the title was within their grasps with each second off the clock.

Danilo doubled the lead with a brilliant solo display from outside the box just 22 minutes later.

The defender headed towards the bye-line with the ball, but cut inside before firing to the far post with a soft, placed shot, making Pele jump for joy in the stands.

Penarol got one back eleven minutes from time when Durval knocked the ball into his own net off a cross, keeping the tie interesting right until the end.

In the dying minutes, Neymar hit the post, and Santos could not finish, leaving the fans nervous as one more goal would have sent the game into extra-time.

Ultimately though, the home side held on to lift the throphy.

The victory caps off a stellar run in the tournament by Santos, who were led by Neymar and Elano and aided by the return of Ganso, who passed the ball well throughout the contest.

For Penarol, their sixth title, which would tie them for second in the history of the competition, will have to wait.

For Santos, the celebrations begin.

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