Brazil’s Internacional won the Copa Sudamericana after a 1-1 draw with Argentina’s Estudiantes in Porto Alegre secured a 2-1 aggregate triumph.
The hosts won the first leg 1-0 in La Plata but Estudiantes levelled the tie when Agustin Alayes netted early in the second half to take the game into extra-time. Nilmar scored the decisive goal on 113 minutes to earn Inter their fourth international title. They also won the 2006 Copa Libertadores and six months later triumphed in the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan, while they also won the Recopa Sudamericana in 2007.
“I’m very happy with this title. This is the product of hard work and the effort of the entire team,” Inter midfielder D’Alessandro said.
Nilmar was thrilled with the triumph, which saw Inter become the first Brazilian side to win the Copa Sudamericana.
“This is the happiest moment of my career,” he said. “I had to overcome a lot of injuries, bad experiences in France and Corinthians, but now all that effort has been rewarded.”
The victory also secured a place in the 2009 Recopa Sudamericana against Ecuadorian side Liga Deportiva Universitaria, who won the Copa Libertadores in June.
Estudiantes midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron hit out at Uruguayan referee Jorge Larrionda after the match.
“We played better and displayed all of our character,” he said. “We deserved another final, but the performance of the referee made it difficult for us.
“All the team made a huge effort. I gave my best, but it wasn’t enough.”