Estudiantes win the 2009 Copa Libertadores

Estudiantes La Plata.png
Their first Libertadores title in 39 years. It was a come from behind win as Henrique lashed a shot that took a deflection of a Estudiantes defender and beat Andujar to put Cruzeiro up by a goal in the 52′ minute.
But Juan Sebastian Veron in one of his magical moments laid a perfect outlet to Rodrigo Brana who caught up to the ball running onto his right. The winger then put in a perfect cross in the 57′ minute which saw a slow reacting Cruzeiro defense catch up too late to Gaston Fernandez who tapped the ball past Fabio for the equalizer. In the 72′ minute, Mauro Boselli got to the ball first to head home a swinging Veron corner.
Cruzeiro looked disjointed after a bright first half as Estudiantes soaked up the pressure. La Pincharratas looked like the fresher team in the second half and controlled the ball with increasing confidence and authority. It became harder for the Brazilians to mount a coherent attack as the Estudiantes defenders like Schiavi, Desabato and Cellay closed down the gaps quickly. The absence of an actual playmaker became obvious as Kleber came up short. Alejandro Sabella seems to have taken some coaching tip from Osvaldo Piazza’s Velez win over Cruzeiro in the 1996 Supercopa Sudamericana championships.
Boselli became the top scorer of the 2009 Libertadores with eight goals. Juan Sebastian Veron was the player of the match. And in one of the most satisfying moments for the team, Carlos Bilardo was at hand to see his old club win. He was part of the legendary group of players that won three Copa Libertadores titles in a row from 1968 to 1970 and put Estudiantes on the international map.

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