x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Santos wait for recapturing Copa Libertadores over

Second-half goals from Neymar and Danilo help the Brazilians beat Penarol 2-1 and lift South America's premier club competition for the first time since the Pele era.

SAO PAULO // Neymar and Danilo scored second-half goals and Brazil's Santos beat Uruguay's Penarol 2-1 to win the Copa Libertadores title for the first time since the Pele era in the 1960s.

A brawl started after the match while Santos celebrated, with Penarol players going after the Brazilians and both sides exchanging punches and kicks until police came in to intervene.

Neymar opened the scoring in the 47th minute and Danilo made it 2-0 in the 69th, helping Santos win their third title — matching Sao Paulo for the most by a Brazilian team — in South America's most important club competition.

Durval's own goal on 80 minutes gave Penerol some hope, but the Brazilians held on.

Santos had not lifted the trophy since Pele led the team to consecutive titles in 1962 and '63.

"It's an important title for the club and for all the players," the Santos captain Edu Dracena said. "We've been trying to win this third title for a long time and now we've made history."

The traditional South America teams tied 0-0 in the first leg in Uruguay last week.

Penarol was trying to win their sixth Copa Libertadores title, and the first in 24 years and would have joined Boca Juniors with six trophies, only one behind Independiente of Argentina.

With Pele watching from the stands, Neymar opened the scoring with a firm low shot into the near corner, using the side of his right foot to get the ball past goalkeeper Sebastian Sosa.

Danilo dribbled past a defender and fired a low shot across the area into Sosa's corner.

The brawl started after the match as Santos celebrated, with Penarol players going after the Brazilians and both sides exchanging punches and kicks until police came in to intervene.

"A [Santos] fan entered the field and provoked us," the Penarol forward Alejandro Martinuccio said. "They have to learn how to celebrate, we had accepted the loss."

A couple of Santos players were hit and stayed on the ground after the fight, but none were seriously injured. Penarol players later calmed down and came back to receive their runner-up medals.

"They were a worthy opponent, but they don't know how to lose," Santos defender Leo said.

The last time Santos were the continent's dominant force, they had a young Pele leading the forward line.

Now the star was Neymar, touted as a future star of Brazil's national team.

"It's the happiest day of my life, I made history," Neymar said. "We deserved this title, it's time to celebrate."

Neymar's 47th minute opener was his sixth in the competition and with European clubs keen to sign him it could be his last for some time.

Neymar kneeled down a few moments after the final whistle and sobbed with his hands covering his face. Pele also cried on the field after the match was over.

"We have to thank these young guys for giving us this title," Pele said.