Wednesday, May 22, 2013

22 May 1969 - A Little Easier The Second Time Around

On 22 May 1969, Estudiantes won their second Copa Libertadores, beating Nacional 2-0 in the final's second leg.

The Argentinians had won the previous year's tournament, but it had taken them sixteen matches to do it, including a three-match final against Palmeiras that Estudiantes won in a replay. But as holders, they received a bye into the 1969 semifinals, where they won both games against Universidad Católica by identical scores of 3-1 to reach the final.

There, they faced Nacional, who had reached the final twice before, but lost to Argentinian teams both times (Independiente in 1964 and Racing in 1967). They played a full thirteen-game schedule to get there a third time, giving them a distinct disadvantage against the well-rested Estudiantes side.

Nacional hosted the first leg in Montevideo on 15 May and lost 0-1 to a 66th-minute goal from Eduardo Flores. In the second leg in La Plata one week later, Flores scored again to put Estudiantes up 1-0, then Marcos Conigliaro stretched the margin to 2-0 in the 37th minute and complete the victory.

Estudiantes went on to win the competition again in 1970, becoming the first team to lift the trophy in three consecutive years.

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