Copa Sudamericana: Lanus 2 Ponte Preta 0 (3-1 agg)
By Football News
Lanus have won the 2013 Copa Sudamericana in front of their home fans, triumphing 3-1 on aggregate over Brazil's Ponte Preta.
The Argentine club claimed their second continental title, with Victor Ayala and Ismael Blanco both scoring for Lanus in the first half of Wednesday's second leg to clinch a 2-0 win.
While Ponte Preta ensured Lanus had to defend stoutly in the second half, the home side's goalkeeper Agustin Marchesin was barely tested.
Lanus added the continental title to their Copa CONMEBOL triumph in 1996 - one of the Copa Sudamericana's predecessors - while it is the club's third major championship in their history after an Apertura success in Argentina's Primera Division in 2007.
The home side had the better of the opening half hour on Wednesday but wasted a number of decent opportunities to claim the first goal before Ayala finally put them in front in the 25th minute.
Lanus won the ball in midfield and Ayala burst forward straight down the middle before releasing Blanco on the right.
The forward pushed into the box before unleashing a shot towards the far post and while his attempt was off target, it was perfectly placed for Ayala to side-foot into the net from close range.
Lanus captain Paolo Goltz had the next opportunity just after the half-hour mark but although his free-kick was on target, it was too close to Ponte Preta's goalkeeper Roberto Tigrao, who held onto the ball.
Just before half-time the Brazilian visitors suffered a double blow as first their head coach Jorginho was sent to the stands before Blanco doubled Lanus' lead.
A corner in the fourth minute of first-half stoppage time found Santiago Silva at the back post and Tigrao could only parry the Uruguayan striker's header, which allowed Blanco to toe-poke the ball home.
Ponte Preta started the second half strongly but although they had more possession after the break, the visitors struggled to create genuine goal-scoring opportunities and finished the game with just one shot on target, compared to Lanus' 10.