PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil Dec 3 Internacional won
the Copa Sudamericana on Wednesday, snatching an extra-time
equaliser to draw the second leg of the final 1-1 with
Estudiantes and win 2-1 on aggregate.
The Reds became the first Brazilian team to win the trophy,
the region's equivalent of the UEFA Cup, in its six-year
history despite being outplayed at home from much of the second
Leading 1-0 from last week's first leg away from home,
Internacional fell behind when Agustin Alayes scored for the
Argentines midway through the second half before Nilmar
scrambled the equaliser in the 115th minute.
A foul-ridden first half produced only a couple of moments
Estudiantes forward Mauro Boselli had a goal harshly ruled
out for offside midway through and Internacional midfielder
Andrezinho forced a superb one-handed save from Mariano Andujar
just before the break.
Apparently happy to sit on their lead, Internacional handed
Estudiantes the initiative and paid the price in the 65th
minute when Leandro Benitez floated over a free kick from the
left and Alayes, unmarked at the far post, volleyed in.
Boselli missed his kick after a flowing move and Marcos
Angeleri fired narrowly wide in the 90th minute as Estudiantes
came close to settling the tie in 90 minutes.
Internacional took control after Estudiantes captain Juan
Sebastian Veron hobbled off injured in extra time.
Estudiantes survived a goalmouth scramble with Andujar
brilliantly saving at point-blank range from Bolivar in the
first half of extra time and Marcos Angeleri headed a dangerous
cross out from under his crossbar.
The pressure paid off when Internacional won a corner,
Bolivar headed against the bar and Nilmar scrambled the ball
home with five minutes left for his fifth goal of the
Estudiantes's frustration boiled over when Rodrigo Brana
and Boselli were sent off in the last three minutes, the latter
for kicking Andres D'Alessandro.
(Writing by Brian Homewood in Buenos Aires; Editing by Peter