BUENOS AIRES - Santos were crowned
champions of South America for the third time after goals from
teenagers Neymar and Danilo gave them a 2-1 win over Penarol in
the second leg of the Libertadores Cup Final on Wednesday.
The Brazilians, also champions in 1962 and 1963, clinched
the title with victory over their Uruguayan opponents at the
Pacaembu in Sao Paulo after holding the five-times winners to a
scoreless draw in the first leg in Montevideo last week.
"I think I deserved this championship," Santos coach Muricy
Ramalho, who failed to win it with Sao Paulo, Sao Caetano and
Fluminense, told reporters on the pitch. "I've been trying for
many years and I believe Santos deserved it too."
Ugly scenes erupted at the final whistle, however, as
players, both benches and fans who found their way onto the
pitch staged a full-scale brawl, repeating the spectre of
violence that marred earlier finals.
"That's something [that come] from those you don't like
losing," Neymar told reporters.
Santos succeeded fellow Brazilians Internacional as South
American champions and earned a place in the Club World Cup in
Pele, who inspired Santos to their first two titles in his
1960s heyday, went onto the pitch at the end to embrace Ramalho
and Santos players.
"Neymar is very talented and he did not have a good first
half because Penarol have a good defence," Pele said.
The gifted 19-year-old, regarded by many as a capable heir
to Pele for Santos and Brazil, broke the deadlock less than two
minutes into the second half.
Indefatigable midfielder Arouca exchanged passes with
playmaker Ganso and rode several tackles on a run across the
edge of the box before feedong the ball to Neymar, who hit a
low shot under goalkeeper Sebastian Sosa.
Danilo doubled the advantage in the 69th minute, racing into
the box from the right onto a pass by Elano before steering a
fine, low left-footed shot past Sosa just inside the far post.
Battling Penarol, who won the last of their five titles in
1987, got back into the contest 10 minutes later via an own goal
by central defender Durval, whose attempt to block a cross
lobbed up over goalkeeper Rafael into the net.
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