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Rediff.com  » Sports » Estudiantes win Copa Libertadores

Estudiantes win Copa Libertadores

July 16, 2009 11:29 IST

Estudiantes scored a a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Cruzeiro to lift their fourth Copa Libertadores title on Wednesday.

The Argentine club had three previous trophies in the competition to their credit but it was their first in almost four decades.

VeronAfter a goalless draw in the first leg in La Plata last week, the Mineirao crowd were confident of Cruzeiro lifting their third Copa title.

However, it wasn't meant to be.

The game was goalless for 141 minutes in the two-legged final, before Cruzeiro broke the deadlock via a Henrique piledriver that took a deflection off Desabato's thigh.

But Estudiantes soon drew level.

Captain Juan Sebastian Veron (pictured) passed the ball to Cellay and the right-back pulled it back for Gaston Fernandez to tap the ball into the empty net.

Soon after Boselli headed from Veron's corner to give the Argentine side the lead.

Veron himself almost sealed the championship on 79 minutes but his free kick just sailed over the crossbar.

Estudiantes, in their first final since 1971 and looking to add to the titles they won from 1968 to 1970, have lost on all five previous visits to Brazil in the Libertadores Cup including the 1968 final, when they needed a playoff in neutral Montevideo to overcome Palmeiras.

For Veron it was a family double, with  father Juan Ramon having won it three years in a row with the club from 1968 to 1970.

The younger Veron, who won the UEFA Cup with Parma in 1999 but reached only the Champions League semi-finals with Manchester United in 2002, returned to his first club in 2006.

The 34-year-old led them to the domestic Apertura title in December 2006 and last year's Copa Sudamericana final, equivalent to the Europa League, which they lost to Internacional of Brazil.