Corinthians has won the Copa Libertadores for the first time in their history with a 3-1 aggregate victory over Boca Juniors.
Corinthians have finally won the Copa Libertadores, capturing the South American championship for the first time in their club's history. The Brazilian giants have won a FIFA Club World Cup and five first-division titles domestically to go along with 26 state championships, but South America's continental crown had eluded them until this season. The Timão have downed Boca Juniors, winning the second leg at home, 2-0, to down Boca Juniors 3-1 on aggregate.
Boca looked intent on playing a conservative match from the start and were successful in keeping scoring chances low on both ends in the first half. Corinthians were unable to break them down from open play, but eventually got a bit lucky on a free kick. In the 55th minute, Alex delivered a free kick to the edge of the penalty area, which was flicked backwards, starting a scramble in the box. The ball eventually fell to the feet of Danilo, who set up Emerson with a creative backheel pass that sent his teammate through on goal. Emerson finished to give Corinthians the lead.
The visitors would never get much of a chance to fight their way back into the game. Emerson scored Corinthians' second goal to seal the title in the 72nd minute, and it was an absolute gift. Boca Juniors defender Rolando Schiavi set Emerson up with a horribly placed pass right into his path, allowing him to run clear through on goal and score his second goal of the game.
Even though his team was well on its way to winning a continental title, mostly due to his finishing skills, Emerson decided that it was worth his while to taunt Boca defenders. In an unfortunate incident that the referee managed to miss, he bit Matías Caruzzo's finger while down on the ground. Caruzzo impressively kept his cool and didn't react in a way that would get him sent off. Tite, sensing what was happening, substituted Emerson before he had another chance to bring his team's lead into question.
Biting is never condoned by anyone in sport, but as Copa Libertadores finals go, this one had a tame ending. Boca's players were too exhausted, gutted or both to start any kind of fight at the end of the match, and Juan Román Riquelme walked around the pitch and congratulated every Corinthians player following what might have been his final match in the Libertadores.