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Thursday Kickoff: Santa Fe wins Copa Sudamerica; Neymar may miss time; and more


A Colombian club has finally won the Copa Sudamerica.

After scoreless ties in the first leg on Dec. 2 and second leg on Wednesday, Independiente Santa Fe topped Argentine side Huracán, 3-1, in penalty kicks to claim the Copa Sudamerica title.

The Colombian side was undoubtedly the better side on the day at Estadio El Campín, outpossessing Huracán 59-41 percent while outshooting it 14-5. Huracán even had one of its players sent off late, as Ramón Ábila was shown a red card just before the penalty shootout.

Robinson Zapata proved to be the hero by the end of the night, making two key saves during penalty kicks. Meanwhile, Omar Pérez, Luis Seijas and Leyvin Balanta successfully converted their attempts from the spot for Santa Fe while Federico Mancinelli was the only one able to for Huracán.

Argentine clubs have dominated the competition since its inception in 2002. Five different Argentine clubs have won the tournament, with Boca Juniors winning it twice in 2004 and 2005. However, the celebrations were in Bogota on Wednesday evening.

Here are some more news and notes:


If his father is to be believed, Neymar won’t be competing in the opening game of this December’s Club World Cup.

According to Neymar da Silva Santos, Barcelona’s hottest player will be sidelined for the Spanish club’s first Club World Cup game against the winner of Liga MX side Club America and Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande next Thursday.

“It’s a standard Grade II injury. Neymar must rest away from the game for at least one week. I don’t think he will be fit to play the opening game at the Club World Cup”, Neymar’s father told ESPN Brazil.

However, his father did say that should Barcelona reach the final of the tournament, which is scheduled for Dec. 20, Neymar would play.

The quarterfinals of the tournament kick off on Sunday.


Michel Platini will know if he can run for FIFA presidency on Friday morning.

The UEFA president is currently serving a 90-day ban enforced by FIFA, as the soccer world’s governing body investigates his role in a payment with outgoing FIFA president Sepp Blatter. Platini has taken his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and the ruling by CAS will be made on Friday morning.

Platini is hoping to have the ban removed because he wants to run for FIFA presidency. Prince Ali Al Hussein, Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, Jerome Champagne, Gianni Infantino and Tokyo Sexwale were all cleared to be in the running for next February’s election.

CAS heard his appeal on Tuesday, and should his ban be lifted, he would be eligible to run.


If Real Madrid is interested in signing Robert Lewandowski, then it will have to pay a huge fee because the Polish striker reportedly doesn’t have a release clause with Bayern Munich. (REPORT)

In the Club World Cup’s first round game, Japanese club Sanfrecce Hiroshima defeated New Zealand side Auckland City, 2-0, thanks to goals from Yusuke Minagawa and Tsukasa Shiotani. They will play Congolese side TP Mazembe in the quarterfinals on Sunday.

Lionel Messi missed Barcelona training for personal reasons on Thursday. (REPORT)

Former Malmo head coach Age Hareide was named manager of the Danish national team. (REPORT)


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