BUENOS AIRES: River Plate, relegated in Argentina only five years, underlined their recovery by winning the Copa Libertadores – South American equivalent of the UEFA Champions League – for the third time.
The Millonarios beat Mexican club Tigres UANL 3-0 in the second leg of the final. Their victory in the Estadio Monumental in Buenos Aires followed a goalless draw in last week’s first leg in Monterrey.
Lucas Alario gave the hosts the lead on the stroke of half time by latching onto Leonel Vangioni’s low pass with a diving header that flew beyond the outstretched arms of Nahuel Guzman. Carlos Sanchez then converted from the penalty spot after he was brought down by Javier Aquino.
The result was put beyond doubt 11 minutes from time when Ramiro Funes Mori headed in Leonardo Pisculichi’s cross following a corner.
“Everybody in the team deserves this result,” said Alario after the match. “It’s a great feeling to know that all of our hard work has paid off.”
The result completes a remarkable turnaround for River Plate, who in 2011 were relegated from Argentina’s top division for the first time in their history.
The Buenos Aires club’s last Copa Libertadores triumph came in 1995, when they defeated Colombia’s America de Cali. Tigres UANL were aiming to become the first Liga MX club to win Latin America’s premier club trophy.