By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL – Atlético-MG have won the 2013 Copa Libertadores 4-3 on penalties at the Mineirão Stadium against Paraguayan outfit Olimpia. Having lost the first leg 2-0 last week in Asuncion, Atlético won last night’s return leg by the same scoreline with goals from Jô and Leonardo Silva.
That made the aggregate score for the tie 2-2 at the end of ninety minutes. When a further half hour of extra-time failed to separate the sides the final went to spot kicks, just as had happened in the semi-final against Argentine club Newell’s Old Boys.
Despite dominating the first half Atlético failed to create any clear cut chances and the Olimpia defense dealt easily with the hosts’ threat. But all that changed just a minute into the second half when Jô found the back of the net from Rosinei’s cross for his seventh goal of the Libertadores campaign.
Atlético continued to press, spurred on by a 60,000 sell-out crowd. Leo Silva headed against a post and Olimpia goalkeeper Martin Silva made a great save from another header ten minutes later.
Four minutes from time Leonardo Silva leveled the aggregate score. Bernard, in what is likely to be his final game for Atlético as several European clubs pursue his signature, crossed from the right and the big defender rose highest to send a looping header into the bottom right hand corner of the net.
Atlético goalkeeper Victor saved the very first penalty to give Atlético the advantage. The Brazilian club scored all their penalties and when Giménez struck Olimpia’s fifth effort against the post as Atlético were crowned victorious, winning the shoot-out 4-3.
The Copa Libertadores is the most prestigious trophy in South American football. As continental champions, Atlético will now take place in the FIFA World Club Championship in December, which Corinthians won last year.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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