BUENOS AIRES, Jan 23 (.) – The Argentine soccer club, Defensa y Justicia, won the first international title in its history on Saturday by beating its national counterpart Lanús 3-0 and lifting the South American Cup, in an unprecedented final between Argentine teams in 19 editions of the competition.
In the match played at the Mario Kempes stadium in the Argentine province of Córdoba, the Defense goals were scored by Adonis Frías, Braian Romero and the Uruguayan Washington Camacho.
“We are champions because we have a very humble group that fought it from below, and we deserve it,” Frías told television after the win.
Defense, who started better and took possession of the ball to pressure his rival against his field, opened the scoring in the 34th minute through Frías, with assistance from Walter Bou.
In the second stage, the team led by the former striker of the Argentine national team, Hernán Crespo, extended the difference to 61 minutes through Romero, after a defensive failure by Lanús.
The third goal came in the 91st minute thanks to a counterattack culminated by Camacho, after a pass from Rafael Delgado that left him in front of the goal.
The modest Defense, who played until 2014 in the promotion categories of Argentine soccer and does not have titles in the first division, managed to be crowned internationally in his fifth participation, after three previous presentations in Sudamericana and one in Libertadores.
In promotion football, the club born 85 years ago in the town of Florencio Varela established itself three times, in 1982, 1985 and 1997, to win the fifth, fourth and third category championships, respectively.
The champion obtained qualification for the group stage of the next Copa Libertadores and will play the Recopa against the winner of that tournament, which will come out of the final that Brazilians Santos and Palmeiras will play on January 30.
Lanús lost the opportunity to win his third international title, after the Conmebol Cup obtained in 1996 and the South American in 2013.
“We feel sad. We came here and wanted to be champions. We found a team that plays football well. It deserves the Defense,” said veteran Lanús forward, José Sand, on television.
The South American Cup is the second most important competition for clubs on the continent, behind the Libertadores.
(Reporting by Ramiro Scandolo; Edited by Hernán Nessi)