Independiente del Valle was crowned this Saturday champion of the 2019 Copa Sudamericana after beating Colon de Santa Fe 3-1 in the first single final of continental football that was played in Asuncion.
The Ecuadorian team won with goals from defender Luis Fernando Leon at 24 minutes, from Colombian Jhon Jairo Sanchez at 42 and from Cristian Dajome at 96. Goalkeeper Jorge Pinos stopped a penalty kicked by Columbus's idol, Luis Miguel Rodriguez a the 54 and Emanuel Olivera discounted the 89.
The final of the second most important tournament of Conmebol was played for the first time in a single game and a neutral court, the stadium of the Cerro Porteno club known as the New Pot. However, Santa Fecinos played almost like locals, with thousands of their fans encouraging from the stands.
Brazilian referee Raphael Claus was forced to stop the game for 30 minutes due to the heavy rain that broke out over the Paraguayan capital shortly after the start and left large puddles in the grass.
"We were just deserving, in my opinion we were the best team in the Cup … today we gave a football demonstration," midfielder Cristian Pellerano told television.
In the first scoring, Leon took advantage of the Pellerano pass and nodded hard a ball that passed between the legs of goalkeeper Leonardo Burian to score the first at a time when the Ecuadorian team dominated the actions.
Columbus lost the tie at 36 minutes when a shot by Colombian Wilson Morelo bounced into the hands of goalkeeper Pinos, who had a great performance in the game.
The second goal came after a full-speed race by also the Colombian Sanchez, who finished off with a strong cross a ball that sneaked between Burian's legs.
Columbus came out with another attitude in the second stage, but that improvement could hardly be reflected on the scoreboard. The "Flea" Rodriguez ruined a criminal that the judge had decreed for a push in the area, which meant a major mood blow for the red and black.
Almost in the end, Columbus discounted with both Olivera, who pushed the ball from very close to the area after a rebound, and pressed until the end trying to match. In an oversight, Independiente decreed the final 3-1 at the last minute and with the bow in white.
In addition to raising the trophy, the champion qualified for the group stage of the Copa Libertadores 2020 and will play the Recopa with the winner of that tournament that will be known on November 23 after the game in Lima between River Plate and Flamengo.
He also won a pass to the new Club World Cup to be played in China in 2021. (D)
Valley Independent: Jorge Pinos; Anthony Landazuri, Luis Leon, Richard Schunke, Luis Segovia; Cristian Dajome, Franco Palma, Cristian Pellerano, Efren Mera (Roberto Garces, 80m), Jhon Sanchez (Alejandro Cabeza, 75m); Gabriel Torres (Washington Corozo, 86m). DT: Miguel Angel Ramirez Alonso.
Columbus of Santa Fe: Leonardo Burian; Alex Vigo (Jorge Ortega, 66m), Emanuel Olivera, Guillermo Ortiz, Gonzalo Escobar (Gabriel Esparza, 70m); Fernando Zuqui, Federico Lertora, Cristian Bernardi (Tomas Chancalay, 77m), Marcelo Estigarribia; Wilson Morelo, Luis Miguel Rodriguez. DT: Pablo Lavallen.
Referee: Raphael Claus (BRA). Admonished to Landazuri (50) and Dajome (76) of Independiente.
Stadium: The New Pot (Asuncion).