The hosts finally broke their continental duck with an outstanding victory in Santiago, as the Chelsea target and Lorenzetti hit the net to the delight of the home supportA brilliantly measured and controlled performance led Universidad de Chile to their first-ever international title on Wednesday, as a 3-0 win over Liga de Quito left them champions of the 2011 Copa Sudamericana. The victory could have been even greater, if not for an inspired display from Liga keeper Alexander Dominguez.
Young sensation Eduardo Vargas added to his strike in the first leg with an early goal in Santiago, and the away team never looked like overturning the deficit as they played second-fiddle throughout; finally bowing out of the tie by virtue of Gustavo Lorenzetti's late tap-in and a second goal from Vargas.
There was a fever-pitch atmosphere in the Estadio Nacional as thousands of Universidad de Chile fans prayed for their side's first-ever international title. They did not have to wait long to explode in joy, when the U took the lead after just 3 minutes.
Showing the same patient, incisive approach play as they have throughout the tournament, the home side probed the Liga defence before playing in Eduardo Vargas on the edge of the area. The in-demand striker released a perfectly timed half-volley into the corner of the net, giving Dominguez no chance.
It was Vargas' 10th goal of the Copa, making him the highest-ever scorer in a single Sudamericana tournament. It also marked his 12th in international competition for Universidad, tying him with the great Marcelo Salas as the club's top marksman.
The hosts were rampant, and only great keeping from Dominguez prevented another goal as he kept out efforts first from Francisco Castro and then from Vargas' rebound. Liga's response, as it was throughout the first half, was to play negatively; a flurry of free kicks followed as the Ecuadorian team resorted to fair means or foul to stop their opponents.
After the early onslaught Liga started to work back into the game, but they struggled against the Chileans' organised backline. Hernan Barcos was given a thankless task as the team's lone centre forward, and was easily controlled by the U back three to restrict the Blanco to speculative long efforts as their main attacking outlet. Liga never threatened to equalise, and went into half time chasing a two goal aggregate deficit against their accomplished rivals.
Even after the break Universidad showed no sign of sitting on their lead, and Gustavo Canales missed an excellent chance to end the tie as a contest. The former River Plate man received a low cross from Francisco Castro without a marker in sight, but fired his shot wide of the post.
The rest of the half, however, passed more or less as a procession for the Chileans, whose fans cheered in delight every time the ball was sprayed from blue shirt to blue shirt. Liga never looked like breaking through and scoring the goal which would have renewed their hopes of a second Sudamericana title, and even less so when defender Jorge Guagua was sent off for a vicious forearm smash on substitute Gustavo Lorenzetti when the two jumped for a header.
With Quito's chances extinguished, Universidad were left to enjoy an historic night for the team; Canales though must have realised it was not his night when he was denied his own strike once more by Dominguez. Lorenzetti wrapped up proceedings with 10 minutes left when he slotted home a rebound created by more good work by Vargas, marking the start of wild celebrations in the Nacional terraces. Even the late expulsion of Matias Rodriguez, for a mis-timed, studs-up challenge, did nothing to change the joyful atmosphere which swept the stadium.
There was still time for one more flourish from Vargas. The striker showed why he is wanted by half of Europe as he waltzed through the middle of the Liga defence, dinking the ball over Dominguez for a truly wonderful goal.
Jorge Sampaoli's men add the Sudamericana to the Chilean Apertura title won in the first half of 2011, and could complete a treble if they triumph in the Clausura play-offs.