Highlights: 2010 Copa Sudamericana final, Goiás vs Independiente

Independiente celebrate their first international title in 15 years and their first major honour of any description since 2002
CONMEBOL had been made to regret their decision to change the rules to allow the winners of the Copa Sudamericana a place in the much more prestigious Copa Libertadores before this game had even kicked off after an already relegated side reached the final which they would contest against a team sitting in 18th position in their own league with only two wins from sixteen league games.

Goiás were relegated from the Brazilian Serie A before the second leg of their semi-final against Palmeiras which they won 2-1 to progress to the final on away goals. Independiente also progressed on away goals after four goals apiece in their semi-final against holders Liga de Quito.

Goiás vs Independiente (1st leg)

The first leg of the final in Goiânia was far from a classic encounter, both teams showed the kind of form their fans have had to endure all season in their respective leagues, however Goias made the best of the home advantage and some shambolic defending from the visitors to score two goals in the first 21 minutes. The goals were scored by Rafael Moura and Otacilio Neta.

Independiente tried to fight back in the second half but their chances of cutting the deficit were badly damaged when Andrés Silvera got himself sent off for violent conduct after 57 minutes. From that point onwards Independiente did well to keep the pressure on Goiás and prevent the Brazilians from extending their lead, however they will be far from happy to be going into the second leg two goals down and without any of the useful away goals they have relied upon to progress in previous rounds.

Independiente vs Goiás (2st leg)

 The second leg of the Copa Sudamericana final finished 3-1 to Independiente with all of the goals coming in a mad 15 minute spell in the first half. Julián Velázquez put the home team ahead on 19 minutes but on 22 minutes Rafael Moura scored for Goiás to restore their two goal advantage. Facundo Parra then scored two goals for Independiente on 26 and 34 minutes. Parra volleyed his second goal and the vital equaliser while sitting on the ground.

In the second half both sides continued to attack but Goiás looked the better passing side and the most likely to score for long spells, they did manage to hit the net but the goal was ruled out by a debatable offside decision. After 90 minutes the game went to extra time since away goals don't count in the final to Independiente's advantage.

Extra time was also goalless despite Rafael Moura hitting the post for Goiás meaning that the 2010 Copa Sudamericana final was the first to be decided on penalties. Independiente scored all five of their penalties to win the tournament, Goiás miss came from 2nd half substitute Felipe who hit the post.

Independiente won the tournament with a decidedly average run of results, of their ten games they won 4, drew 3 and lost 3. The only tie they won outright under the competition rules was their first tie against Argentinos Juniors, they beat Defensor Sporting Club on goal difference and progressed through the next two rounds on away goals before winning the final on penalties.

Despite winning the tournament with a rather average run of results, CONMEBOL will be relieved that Independiente are the champions, which means that the South American confederation will avoid the embarrassment of seeing a 2nd division side gain automatic entry into the prestigious Copa Libertadores tournament next year.

Video compilation of Independiente's championship campaign.

Goiás (Bra) 2-0 Independiente (Arg)
Independiente (Arg) 3-1 Goiás (Bra)
Winner: Independiente (5-3 on penalties)

For more South American football highlights, including the Argentine & Brazilian leagues, the pick of the rest and other international tournaments:

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