Friday, September 14, 2012

14 September 1977 - Boca Juniors Send Cruzeiro Packing

On 14 September 1977, Boca Juniors beat Cruzeiro in a penalty shootout to claim their first Copa Libertadores title.

It was the second time in the final for both teams. Cruzeiro were the defending champions, having won the tournament over River Plate the previous year, while Boca Juniors finished as runners-up to Santos in 1963.

Scheduled to be played over two legs (and decided on points), each team won their home leg 1-0 to force a decisive third match at the neutral Estadio Centenario in Montevideo. There, 60,000 people filled the stands to watch the two teams play to a scoreless draw to the end of regulation, sending the match to penalties.

Boca defender Roberto Mouzo took the first kick and struck the post, but the referee instructed him to retake the kick because Cruzeiro goalkeeper Raul Plassman had come off his line too early. Mouzo made his second attempt, then each team converted their shots up to Cruzeiro's last kick. With Boca leading 5-4, Cruzeiro defender Vanderley Lázaro sent his shot to the right, where Boca keeper Hugo Gatti swatted it away for the win, 0-0 (5-4).

Cruzeiro returned to the final three more times, winning it in 1997, while Boca have gone on to lift the trophy five more times.

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