Sat, Jul 11, 2009 - Page 18 News List

Quito complete 4-0 aggregate Recopa Sudamericana win


Claudio Bieler of Liga de Quito, right, celebrates scoring against Internacional with teammates Ulises de la Cruz, left, and Christian Lara during the Recopa Sudamericana final in Quito on Thursday.


Liga de Quito beat Brazilian league leaders Internacional 4-0 on aggregate in the Recopa Sudamericana playoff on Thursday to claim only the second international title in the history of Ecuadorean soccer.

Argentine striker Claudio Bieler scored his second goal of the series in the 40th minute to help secure a 3-0 home win in Thursday’s return match. Carlos Espinola headed the opener from a corner after nine minutes and Enrique Vera added a third in the second half.

Bieler scored the only goal when Liga won the first leg 1-0 away in Porto Alegre, Brazil, two weeks ago.

The Recopa, the equivalent of Europe’s Super Cup, is a home-and-away annual series that pits the winners of the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana against each other.

Liga claimed Ecuadorean soccer’s first international title with a surprise Copa Libertadores win last year. Copa Sudamericana champions Internacional were chasing a second Recopa title after winning as Libertadores holders back in 2007.

The Recopa took on extra importance for Liga after the club’s defense of the Libertadores was cut short at the group stage earlier this year.

Internacional were also keen to claim the continental trophy after losing the final of the Brazilian cup on penalties to Ronaldo’s Corinthians last week.

Kleber and Nilmar returned for Internacional after missing the first leg because they were in the Brazil squad for the Confederations Cup. Liga had recent signings Vera and veteran former Aston Villa player Ulises de la Cruz in the starting lineup.

Internacional started brightly, with Liga goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez tipping over Kleber’s free-kick after six minutes and blocking Nilmar’s header from the resulting corner.

Liga took the lead in the 10th minute when Espinola headed a corner past Internacional goalkeeper Lauro, who seemed to be unsighted by a defender in front of him.

Nilmar hit the post from just outside the box in the 38th minute.

Like the first leg, however, Internacional struggled to break down the solid Liga defense and the Ecuadorean club moved further ahead when Bieler headed a cross from Vera past Lauro.

Vera added gloss to the scoreline with a deflected shot that beat Lauro in the 54th minute.

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