Sunday, August 12, 2012

12 August 1964 - A Small Degree Of Separation Is Enough

On 12 August 1964, Independiente won the first of their record seven Copa Libertadores titles, beating Nacional on points.

It was the fifth edition of the tournament and the first appearance in the final for both teams. They each won their first-round group with identical records of three wins and a draw to advance to the semifinals. There, Independiente topped two-time defending champions Santos by winning both legs, while Nacional did the same to Colo-Colo.

The final was played over two legs, home and away, with the champion determined by points. The teams met at the Estadio Centenario in Montevideo for the first leg on 6 August, where they split the points by playing to a scoreless draw, then reconvened six days later at the Estadio de Independiente for the second leg.

The second leg was another close affair, with the teams separated only by a 35th-minute goal from Independiente's Mario Rodríguez, but it was enough for the hosts to claim the trophy.

Independiente repeated as champion in 1965, then proceeded to win it again in 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, and 1984. Nacional returned to the final in 1967 and 1969 before eventually winning it in 1971 (then again in 1980 and 1988).

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