Liga de Quito wins Copa Nissan Sudamericana title
Ecuador's Liga de Quito won the Copa Sudamericana title despite a 3-0 loss to Fluminense of Brazil on Wednesday, earning its third continental trophy in two years with a 5-4 aggregate score.
Diguinho, Fred and Gum scored for Fluminense at a packed Maracana stadium, but it wasn't enough to erase the Brazilian club's 5-1 first-leg loss last week in Ecuador.
Copa Sudamericana Final
Liga de Quito played a man down from the 18th minute after Ulises De la Cruz was shown a red card for a hard foul, and both teams had a player sent off in the second half.
"We knew it was going to be difficult," Liga de Quito midfielder Diego Calderon said. "All the goals we scored in Ecuador ended making the difference here."
The Copa Sudamericana title adds to Liga de Quito's victories in the Recopa Sudamericana earlier this year and the Copa Libertadores in 2008.
The Copa Sudamericana is the second most important club tournament in South America after the Copa Libertadores.
Wednesday's encounter was a rematch of last year's Copa Libertadores final, when Liga de Quito stunned Fluminense on penalties at Maracana.
"They only had one shot on goal against us tonight," Fluminense coach Cuca said. "But they did what they had to do in Ecuador and earned the advantage, so we have to congratulate them."
Trying to win its first international title and boosted by nearly 70,000 fans at Maracana, Fluminense pressured from the beginning Wednesday to try to reverse the first-leg result. Coach Cuca set up his team with three forwards and it quickly started to pay off.
Midfielder Diguinho opened the scoring in the 14th minute with a long-range left-footed shot that deflected off Liga de Quito defender William Araujo and beat goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez.