Thursday, July 03, 2008

Liga de Quito wins Copa Libertadores -

and becomes the first Ecuadorian club to win South America's most prestiguous club tournament. Liga de Quito will represent South America in the Club World Cup in Japan later this year.

Quito took a two goal lead into the second leg and lost 3-1 in Rio to Fluminese, leaving the aggregate score 5-5 (away goals have no meaning in this competition). Extra time yeilded no change, so penalty kicks were the decider.

Quito goalkeeper Jose Francisco Cevallos saved three penalty kicks to give his club the victory. Photos and more on the Cinderalla story, here.

With the end of the Copa de Liberatodores, the final big international tournament of 2007-2008 is over. The Euros, Copa Lib, and the European seasons have been spectacular. MLS is getting exciting, although admittedly less so. The U.S. Open Cup has had it share of upsets and great stories (Crystal Palace USA, Hollywood United). This is what I love about soccer--it rarely fails to deliver drama and intrigue.

Tip of my hat to Liga de Quito--Well Done and good luck in Japan.

Update: Ives Galarcep has YouTube video of the penalties, the commentary is in Spanish. interesting note, the cameramen did a pretty good job capturing the tension of the Fluminese fans and the penalties wore on.

As a goalkeeper in my past, I had a coach tell that in penalty kicks, if you stop one, you are a hero, if you stop two, you are a god. What if you save three like Cevallos did, what does that make him.

Added note, my goodness, the South Americans suck at taking penalties if this is any evidence.

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