Estudiantes reach Sudamericana finals vs. Inter
Estudiantes de La Plata defeated Argentinos Juniors 1-0 on Thursday night and went through to the grand final of the Copa Sudamericana after a 2-1 aggregate victory over the two legs.
The winning goal was scored by Jose Luis Calderon in the 62nd minute when he connected to a Leandro Benitez cross with a powerful header. Calderon had entered the field only minutes earlier.
Despite the victory, Estudiantes were outplayed by Argentinos for great part of the match. The side from La Paternal dominated its opponents, and created a number of good opportunities in the first half, but couldn't take advantage of them.
In the second half Argentinos' domination continued, but although they played the better soccer of the two teams, they lacked authority when moving forward.
Estudiantes and the likes of Juan Sebastian Veron weren't at their best, but they were pushed by the 40,000 fans in the stands, and this pressure was the reason why they managed to break the deadlock.
The home fans demanded Estudiantes to move forward, despite the fact they would still have gone through with a scoreless draw, and finally their goal came courtesy of veteran striker Calderon.
Mauro Boselli could have sealed them a more comfortable victory minutes later, when he was put through on goal, but he failed to find the back of the net from close range.
Towards the end of the match both teams were reduced to ten men.
Argentinos pushed their entire team forward in a final attempt to force a penalty shootout, but although they came close they couldn't manage to score.
Estudiantes de La Plata will face Internacional of Porto Alegre in the final of the 2008 Copa Sudamericana. Neither of the two sides have ever won the continental competition.