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Liga de Quito wins Copa Libertadores


In a two-game series that saw 10 goals scored you wouldn’t expect a goalkeeper to be the hero, but Liga de Quito goalkeeper Jose Francisco Cevallos was just that for Liga. Cevallos made three penalty kick saves to help Liga de Quito beat Brazilian club Fluminense, 3-1, in penalty kicks to capture the Copa Libertadores title last night at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.

Fluminense came into the match needing to erase a two-goal deficit and didn’t look like they would do it after Liga de Quito scored the opening goal to take a three-goal series lead. That was before Fluminense midfielder Thiago Neves scored a hat-trick to tie the home-and-home series at 5-5 and send it to penalties.

Cevallos stole the show from there, stopping three of Fluminense’s four penalty kicks while Liga de Quito teammates Patricio Urrutia (pictured), Franklin Salas and Getafe-bound Joffre Guerron converted their penalty kicks. You can watch the PK round after the jump:


Cevallo’s saves come at 1:24, 3:47 and 7:35 on the video to seal the Liga de Quito victory.

The win earns Liga de Quito a place in the FIFA Club World Cup later this year, a tournament that will also include European champions Manchester United.

Did you watch the game last night? What did you think of the match? Share your thoughts below.


  1. a couple of things…

    i was following the game last night online and it finished at 3-1 flu. i had thought the game was over because even though it was 5-5 aggregate, flu had more away goals. is it just the final that doesn’t go by away goals? liga won the semis against america on away goals when the aggregate was 1-1.

    with as poor as the national team has been playing for world cup qualifying (i watched them lose 1-0 to venezuela and lose to brazil and paraguay 5-1), it is great to see liga win the libertadores. i really hope this unites all of ecuador behind liga for the games in december. i remember seeing a fan from barcelona with a sign that said “liga sucks” during a club match in ecuador during the tournament. this is really about being proud in your country.

    if you want to see some videos and pictures of fans celebrating in quito, check out from ecuador.

    Dale Liga!

  2. this brazilian commentator is on every dang clip i see from brazilian TV.

    idk abt you guys, but for me hes pretty unbearable.

    whats more unbearable is the routine the TV station does after a brazil goal though.

    they go: gooooooooooo… BRASIIIL!!!

    then they play some obnoxious music that sounds like its from Mexican TV.

    oh yeah, they also have a huge brazil bias, but im sure every other country has that too. Cuz we live in the U.S. means that were not that used to commentator bias because of the diversity of the american viewing audience

  3. Silent E, it was because Thiago Neves(?) was taking too long to take his kick trying to psych out Cevallos, and Cevallos protested.

    Just watched a replay… So many memories to take away from this game to list… So I’ll just summarize by saying what left me the most impressed – the depth of the PASSION was second to none – displayed by all the players… also in the gameplay itself (audacious attempts abounded), in the body language of the coaches, on the faces of the fans that came up on camera (those camaramen/women were on point with thier shots and transitions yesterday). I will never forget it.

  4. Awesome game and awesome tournament. Last night’s game was the rollicking wide open affair that I expected. Both sides never laid back but attacked making the game wildly entertaining. The Gaucho referee, who was also the WC Finals ref mostly let the play go, but his crew missed several crucial calls, which would have led to more goals: a wrong offsides call on a Flu goal, a missed PK call on Flu’s Washington, and a wrong off-sides call on LDU Quito’s overtime goal. Somehow to me as a neutral observer, though, they were all close calls and didn’t take away from the great game that it was. Boy, I wish MLS teams all played with the verve and flair that these teams exhibited. If they did, I think even Jim (the Idiot) Rhome might become a fan.

  5. IIRC, Saprissa won the CONCACAF Champions Cup this year agaibst Pachuca, so they’re going to Japan for the Club World Cup.

    With clubs from New Zealand, Ecuador, and Costa Rica, no one in Europe is going to care about this tournament.

  6. Some smart MLS owner maybe someday might figure out that Washington should be playing for them. If the DP rule can be used to bring in older, but still-great foreign talent , Washington is almost the model player. My prediction: he’d lead MLS in goals the minute he suited up.

  7. does anyone know what was the issue when the goalie came off his line pointing at and complaining to the ref about something and the ref had to call back the penalty kick? Just wondering…

  8. Awesome game!! Awesome tourney. Glad you are covering it Ives. I was very impressed with Liga this tourney. That Guerron guys has the size of Altidore but with way better speed and awareness. He is coveted by America, Boca, and Getafe of Spain. I would rather have this guy on my team than Altidore.

  9. DELIRIO EN EL ECUADOR!!!!!!!!!!! Been partying all night and am still so excited I don’t even know what to do anymore. Best part of the match for me happened before the game even started. Liga came out with a banner that read in Spanish “Thank you Ecuador for uniting for us” or very close to that effect. The historical, political, racial, economic, and regional divisions that’ve always existed within this small country have always crippled it. For the players to do that of their own accord, it was like they were saying “NO, we are the ones that are in AWE – Thank YOU.” That just floored me… Then of course the match – the enormity of the Maracana and its pitch, Guerron’s pace, Liga’s nerves, Flu’s relentlessness, BolaƱos’ piercing runs, and Cevallos’ superhuman keeper act to end all…

    That this one team. This one INCREDIBLE TEAM… playing the best sport in the world… could unite the country in much the same way Spain’s victory did for them… just astonishing to witness. In the news, in videos, in phone calls back home, I have seen and heard us all embrace each other for the first time – coastals, mountain dwellers, rich, poor, mestizo, black, indigenous, and even those always challenged foreign born but still firmly entrenched in their family’s Ecuadorian roots.

    For one day at least, we are AS ONE. Gracias LIGA, por ser la mas grande en nuestra historia!! Campeonesss campeoooooonesss OLEEEE OLEEEE OLEEEE!!!

  10. Wow! If that scenario happened in a CL tie, it would be remembered forever (although away goals would have come into play…) FSC needs to hook us up with this tourney. Now that the Euro Championships got a broadcast here, Copa is the biggest tournament that isn’t shown.

  11. It was shown live last night on ESPN Deportes (or FSC en Espanol, can’t remember which). Insane match! Liga went one up and then Fluminense went postal and put pressure on LDU all over the field and drew level. The pace was crazy and despite all the trying LDU couldn’t slow things down. Flu’ could have gone 4-1 up, but LDU also wasted a great chance early in the 2nd half to pull to 3-2. When Flu’ scored its third the cameras showed men, women, kids in the stands in hysterics, tears streaming down their faces, totally crazed eyes.

    I’ll take this one over anything I’ve seen in the Champions League all year, and over all but one or two (admittedly great) Euro 2008 games. Vamos Liga!

  12. Amazing. Maybe Ecuador won’t make it to 2010 but Liga de Quito’s incredible run in the Copa Libertadores (move aside, Champions League) will serve as the last stepping point for Ecuador futbol in the world stage. No longer a cinderella, no longer a push-over, exporting stars like Edison Mendez, Antonio Valencia, Joffre Guerron, and co., and going to two straight world cups undoubtedly prove the quality of play in this diminutive South American country. They did it beating one of the South American giants, a brazilian team, no less. Fluminense proved its home advantage at the Maracana of Rio was a formidable obstacle. Still, a 3-1 was not enough and penalties came. Enter Jose Francisco “Pepe Pancho” Cevallos and 3 amazing saves worthy of Buffon, Goycochea, Ravelli, Zoff, Casillas. Pepe Pancho Cevallos was the amazing goalie missing from 2006 and the start of qualifying for 2010. We must not forget that it was through this ‘keeper’s hands that Ecuador arrived at KoreaJapan 2002. What now? Celebrate, of course. Even though Liga may not be my team they still make me proud. Liga wins, critics are silenced (my uncle included, of course) and the people rejoice. Quality, speed, savvy play, amazing passes, sublime plays, incredible atmosphere, Guerron and Urrutia and Manzo and Salas and Delgado and Cevallos and Bieler and Campos and Bolanos and everyone in between. Well done, Liga. Well done, Ecuador. Party on, Quito.

  13. Great two legs. Liga is worthy champion.

    Ives, any idea why FSC didn’t show the match live? I had to scramble for it on my computer. I know they are showing the match on tape delay at some point as they did last week. Are the rights to show the event live out of their price range?

  14. Manchester United -Europe

    The winners of the 2008 AFC Champions League (In Progress) – Asia

    Pachuca (MEX) – North America

    The winner of the CAF Champions League will be known in November – Africa

    Waitakere United – Oceana

    LDU Quito – South America

    Japan’s League Winner – Host Nation.


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