Copa Sudamericana Final: River Plate vs Cienciano - Xtratime Community
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River Plate 1 20.00%
Cienciano 4 80.00%
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old December 9th, 2003, 03:11 Thread Starter
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Copa Sudamericana Final: River Plate vs Cienciano

Cienciano give ancient Inca capital modern glory



By Monica Vargas

LIMA, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Lying at the head of the Sacred Valley of the Incas at more than 3,000 metres above sea level in the Peruvian Andes is the ancient city of Cusco.

Once the Inca capital, the city -- which is also the gateway to the Machu Picchu citadel -- nowadays pulls in thousands of tourists a year with its pre-Columbian ruins, colonial churches, monasteries and convents.

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The city has countless attractions -- but football has never been one of them.

Although local team Cienciano were founded 102 years ago, Cusco has long been a footballing backwater in a country which itself has drifted away from the sport's mainstream.

Cienciano have never won the Peruvian championship and have always been the poor relations of the Lima trio Sporting Cristal, Alianza Lima and Universitario, who in turn are considered lightweights by South American standards.

The modest Inca Garcilasco de la Vega stadium has never hosted a full international match and its unkempt pitch sometimes looks as if it has not been cut since the Incas were around.

This year, however, Cienciano have become the sensation of the Copa Sudamericana, the nearest thing in South America to the UEFA Cup.

After beating Colombia's Atletico Nacional 1-0 in the second leg of their semi-final last week, the "Red Fury" completed a 3-1 aggregate win and will face Argentina's River Plate in a two-leg final which starts in Buenos Aires on Wednesday.

PLAYERS' STRIKE

Cienciano's unexpected success has brought solace to Peruvian football fans deprived of the national championship which was abandoned last month after the players went on strike to protest about unpaid wages.

Cienciano's success is also an oasis in a desert of Peruvian footballing failures.

Peru last qualified for a World Cup in 1982 while Sporting Cristal's appearance in the 1997 final of the Libertadores Cup broke a long string of failures in the South American equivalent of the Champions League.

Their sudden success has even helped to restore faith in the national team with Peruvians firmly believing they can qualify for the 2006 World Cup.

Under Brazilian Paulo Autuori, Peru have made a reasonable start to their qualifying campaign, beating Paraguay 4-1 at home and holding world champions Brazil to a 1-1 draw.

Cienciano, one of Peru's oldest clubs, have had some good seasons recently, reaching the Peruvian championship final in 2001 and the last 16 of the Libertadores in 2002.

The turning point came when they beat Brazilian champions Santos 3-2 on aggregate in the quarter-finals of this year's Sudamericana.

They followed that up by winning 2-1 away to Atletico Nacional in their semi-final first leg, silencing critics who said the team could win only at home where they have the advantage of playing at high altitude.

"Playing at altitude helps us but if we didn't have a good team that wore out our rivals, that made them run, that pressured them, that played with rhythm, it wouldn't be any use to us," coach Freddy Ternero told Reuters.

CITY PATRON

But the club say they also have the heavens on their side, thanks to Cusco's patron, Lord of the Earthquakes, who protects the Inca city from falling victim to seismic shifts.

The team ask their patron for victory every time they play and the players wrap their team flag around the Lord's statue in Cusco's cathedral.

The team's fanatical supporters, who see Cienciano as the "Father of Peruvian Football"," are also a source of great support and celebrate every victory by parading through Cusco's imposing central square.

Paradoxically, Cienciano have also been helped by the financial crisis which has plagued the traditional teams such as Universitario.

Simply by paying wages on time, they have been able to entice experienced players such as striker German Carty and midfielder Paulo Maldonado from Lima clubs.

"Those players want to achieve great things," said Ternero. "It's been so long since Peruvian football has won something important and for them to have come this far is one of the biggest things in their career."

But Cienciano, whose name comes from the National College of Science, are not immune from the crisis and only just managed to pay players' salaries last year.

"We represent an ancient city known for Machu Picchu but now people will know Cusco also because of Cienciano," said the club's president Juvenal Silva.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old December 11th, 2003, 00:25 Thread Starter
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River vs Cienciano game has just started and is pretty entertaining so far. The Peruvians are holding their ground so far.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old December 11th, 2003, 00:43 Thread Starter
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GOOOAAALLLLL CIENCIANOOOOO!!!!!!


Portilla scored after getting a rebound off the post.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old December 11th, 2003, 00:45 Thread Starter
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GGGOOOAAALLLLL RIVER!!!!!!!!

Maxi Lopez hits right back with a great finishing.

1-1
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old December 11th, 2003, 02:28 Thread Starter
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FINAL

River 3 - Cienciano 3

What a game!!!!

Cienciano has improved tremendously. They were unlucky not to take the 3 points. River was able to equalize through Salas with 3 minutes to go in the game.

The return more than likely will be played in Arequipa since the stadium in Cuzco does not hold the minimun of 40000 people for a continental final , as required by Conmebol.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old December 11th, 2003, 16:23
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What a game!
All finals should be like that...and then they say that European football is better than ours.

Cienciano amazes me, it's a matter of attitude. They are humble, but also humble in the way they play. They seem to respect their coaches orders perfectly. Sometimes a player comes in second half and is replaced afterwards. It happened to Maldonado yesterday, and several times before. They don't complain about it.

Now it's gonna be in Arequipa, which is a bit unfair, but that's the way it goes. Argentinians and Brazilians do whatever they like in South America.

But the Arequipa Stadium is pretty amazing also, hopefully it will be full. I´ll try to be there...

"It is possible to imagine a distant future in which most other species of life are extinct but the ocean will consist overwhelmingly of immortal jellyfish, a great gelatin consciousness everlasting".
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old December 11th, 2003, 18:54 Thread Starter
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I don't think is unfair at all that they are playing in Arequipa. The rules say that stadium needs to be at least 40000 capacity wise for the final. Santos had to do it earlier in the year, so I don't see why Cienciano shouldn't.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old December 18th, 2003, 19:24
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I´m not sure if that rule really exists for Copa Sudamericana.
Santos did it for Libertadores, that rule isn't there - I think - in the Copa Sudamericana rule list.

Game's tomorrow...

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old December 19th, 2003, 23:48 Thread Starter
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Well in about 15 minutes Cienciano will try to make history and be the 1st Peruvian team to win a continental competition.

River will come out with everything they got. Salas and gallardo from the get go.

The stadium is sold out. I fact tickets sold out within minutes of going on sale.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old December 20th, 2003, 01:10 Thread Starter
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River has completely dominated the first half and should be at least 1 goal up. Cienciano is a shadow of the team in BAs. I believe the pressure and nerves are getting to the players.

But the altitude is still IMO the deciding advantage at the end of the game Cienciano will be the one with better stamina.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old December 20th, 2003, 01:58 Thread Starter
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GGGOOOAAALLL CIENCIANOOOO!!!!!!!

Lugo scored from a free kick. Cienciano has been playing with a man down since the beginning of the 2nd half.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old December 20th, 2003, 02:05 Thread Starter
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Cienciano is down to nine men with 5 minutes to go!!!!!
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old December 20th, 2003, 02:13 Thread Starter
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CIENCIANO CAMPEON!!!!!!!!!!


Congrats to all our Peruvians on this first continental title.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old December 20th, 2003, 02:28
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Congrats to Cienciano!

Una duda, ahora deben juegar con Boca la Recopa Sudamericana?

Está Cienciano clasificado para la Copa Libertadores?
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old December 20th, 2003, 09:49
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Okay I'm a little confused here...is this the actual COPA LIBERTADORES that Cienciano won last night??

Because you guys are calling it the Copa Sudamericana which I last heard is SA's new tournament equivalent to the UEFA Cup...



and I also find it strange that neither soccerage.com nor planetfootball.com have any headline coverage over the game...

Don't lament the treachery of time;
long have dogs danced over the carcasses of lions.

Don't suppose that their dancing raises them above their masters;
for dogs remain dogs, and lions remain lions.

Insult me as you wish;
For my silence to the depraved is a response.

It's not that I have no response, but;
A lion does not reply to a dog.
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