Dec 4, 2008

Internacional win Copa Sudamericana

Brazilian side Internacional got an extra time goal from Nilmar to beat Argentina's Estudiantes 2-1 on aggregate for the 2008 Copa Sudamericana title. The victory was a deserved one for the team from Porto Allegre, which dominated large portions of Wednesday evening's match and were unlucky not to score earlier in the encounter. They carried a 1-0 lead from the first leg in Argentina but came out attacking anyway (not the type of thing you'd expect to see anywhere but Brazil and further proof that UEFA's away goal rule has outlived its purpose. If the rule had been in effect for this match, Inter's lead going into the return leg would effectively have been doubled).

As it was, the team Soccer Source deemed 21st-best in the world in its most recent ranking, clearly dominated the first half but it was the guests who struck first, in the 65th minute. At that point Estudiantes (whose captain, Juan Sebastian Veron, is well known in England, particularly Manchester) had fought their way back however and the goal, by Agustin Alayes, was well earned. The tables turned again in extra time with Nilmar's goal coming after a mad goalmouth scramble in the second overtime frame.

You may have not heard the last of the 24-year old, whose full name is Nilmar Honorato da Silva. He already had one stint in Europe, with Lyon, where he did well but was loaned to Corinthians when Giovane Elber came back from injury. He scored 39 goals in 55 games at Corinthians and then became a free agent due to some foul up with Brazilian employment. He's been back with the club of his youth since November, 2007. Just a hunch, but don't expect to see him back after the winter break.

With the victory, the Brazilian side join Boca Juniors as the only two clubs in South America to have won every possible title still in existence.

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