River Plate beat Ti­gres to win Copa Lib­er­ta­dores

The Pak Banker - - INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS/SPORTS -

River Plate clinched their third Copa Lib­er­ta­dores ti­tle with a 3-0 vic­tory over Ti­gres to shat­ter the Mex­i­can side s dream of win­ning South Amer­ica s most pres­ti­gious club tour­na­ment for the first time.

Goals from Lu­cas Alario, Car­los Sanchez and Ramiro Funes Mori sealed a 3-0 ag­gre­gate vic­tory for the Ar­gen­tine giants af­ter last week s first leg in Mexico had fin­ished in a 0-0 draw. Ti­gres had been bid­ding to be­come the first side from Mexico ever to win the Copa Lib­er­ta­dores.

In­stead they were left ru­ing a fail­ure to con­vert their chances as River com­pleted a vic­tory to set along­side their wins in the tour­na­ment in 1986 and 1996.

A full-blooded open­ing pe­riod saw some wild tack­les fly­ing in from both sides, Alario set­ting the tone af­ter only nine min­utes with a rugged chal­lenge on Guido Pizarro which earned the River striker a book­ing.

Alario s cau­tion was one of five yel­low cards shown in the open­ing 25 min­utes, with Ti­gres play­ers Is­rael Jimenez, Jun­inho, An­dre-Pierre Gignac and Jose Ri­vas also re­ceiv­ing cau­tions.

An elec­tri­fy­ing pre-match spec­ta­cle saw the Es­ta­dio Mon­u­men­tal del­uged with ticker-tape as clouds of smoke from a fire­work dis­play bil­lowed across the pitch. But Ti­gres shrugged off the in­tim­i­dat­ing at­mos­phere and soon be­gan to threaten the Ar­gen­tine hosts. They squan­dered a golden chance to take the lead af­ter 15 min­utes how­ever, when French striker Gignac played in at­tack­ing part­ner Rafael So­bis for what should have been a straight­for­ward one-on-one with River goal­keeper Marcelo Barovero. But with the goal at his mercy So­bis made a mess of his first touch, al­low­ing River time to cover and clear to safety.

Nine min­utes later Ti­gres wasted another chance, winger Jur­gen Damm cut­ting back for Gignac who botched his shot. Ti­gres were made to pay for their profli­gacy on the stroke of half-time.

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