Brazilian side Corinthians claimed their first Libertadores title beating Argentine side Boca Juniors 2-0 in the second leg beating Boca 3-1 on aggregate.
For those that don’t know much about the Copa Libertadores, in is essentially the South American Champions League. Teams from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela and Mexico take part. Mexico, who apart of CONCACAF are the only country from that federation that have team eligible to take part in the Copa Libertadores, which is organized by CONMEBOL.
Much like in the Champions League there is an entry stage where teams will face each other in two legs to gain entry into the second stage of the Copa Libertadores which is a round robin group stage which consist of eight groups of four. The top two of each group will go through to the next round, which becomes the knockout stages. This continues all the way to the final. This is where things are slightly different from the Champions League as the final of the Copa Libertadores is played over two legs with the higher ranked club getting the home advantage in the second leg.
This year’s final saw Brazilian side Corinthians face Argentine side Boca Juniors, who had won the competition six times, most recently in 2006.
In the first leg it was Boca who took the lead thanks to a goal from defender Facundo Roncaglia, who has since moved to Italy to play for Fiorentina, in the 72nd minute, although the lead only lasted 12 minutes. Corinthians equalized thanks to the up-and-coming substitute Romarinho, who has only recently signed for the São Paulo based club.
The second leg saw Corinthians run out as eventual winners beating Boca 2-0 thanks to two goals from veteran striker Emerson. Emerson, who signed for Corinthians in 2010 making 47 appearances and scoring 11 goals, won’t have scored more important goals for the club as the two he scored that night. The first goal came from a Corinthians freekick which was flicked on and then when an attempted pass was blocked the Corinthians player was quick to think on his feet and flick the ball over the players with the back of his heel to which Emerson chested and then just outside the six yard box half volleyed it home.
The second was a great solo effort, but thanks to some sloppy pass on Boca’s part. On the half way line a Boca player goes to pass the ball to his team mate Emerson, who read the game brilliantly, intercepted the weal pass and with a great turn of pass stormed past the last defender and then slots it past the ‘keeper with a lovely side-footed effort.
Emerson, who has represented Qatar three time, that is a story all in of its self, will never have scored two more important goals. The well travelled striker who has played in Japan, Qatar, UAE and France started his career with city rivals São Paulo has won trophies in Brazil, Japan and the UAE, but none will have been as important as the Copa Libertadores.
Here is a video of Emerson’s two goals and the celebrations afterwards. (skip 10 seconds in)