As usual with a huge match involving an Argentine club, HEGS races to the aid of anyone who wants to know what’s going on but doesn’t have access to a TV or internet connection. Except if you’ve got the latter you’re able to watch it. Whatever, you can follow it live here all the same. Usual rules apply: feel free to comment during the game – the more the merrier – but please don’t include any links in the text, or your comment won’t show up until I click ‘Approve’ (and I’ll be too busy running the updates to do that during play). The score below will be refreshed roughly every five minutes, with the updates themselves coming every two or three, or whenever something exciting happens.
As I forgot to mention prior to the game, for the benefit of those who are following the Copa for the first time tonight, away goals are not counted in the final – any draw tonight will see the match go to penalties (there won’t be half an hour of extra time).
Cruzeiro 1 – 2 Estudiantes (1-2 agg., FULL TIME)
21:57 (Argentine time): Estudiantes kick off.
2 mins: After Estudiantes work the ball down the right, Cruzeiro soon have it up the other end and win the first corner of the match, which is easily cleared by Cristian Cellay.
4 mins: Ramires goes down in a heap following an aerial challenge with Seba Verón, who it has to be said led with his arm. The Brazil midfielder is OK though.
6 mins: Wellington Paulista makes it a niggly foul apiece by bringing down Enzo Pérez in the Estudiantes midfield.
8 mins: So far the atmosphere in Brazil’s second largest stadium seems to be heaping the pressure on the hosts as much as it intimidates the visitors. After Verón tried to thread Pérez down the right, Estudiantes win a throw, and from that they get a free kick very close to the corner flag which Seba Verón is now readying himself for.
9 mins: Verón’s free kick hits Gerson Magrão and goes out for a corner, which he wastes.
11 mins: Leandro Desábato approaches Wellington Paulista and ‘lets him know he’s there’, but Cruzeiro can’t capitalise from the resulting free kick out on their left touchline.
12 mins: Another free kick, this time nearer to the middle but right out on the halfway line, after a high-up 50-50 goes Cruzeiro’s way. Again nothing doing, but Cruzeiro are keeping the ball a little better now and the ref seems quite happy to blow up – he’s just awarded another free kick for not very much as I’ve been typing.
15 mins: A foul on Gata Fernández now, and it’s an Estudiantes free kick just inside their hosts’ half, out on the right.
15 mins: The ball’s worked across to Leandro Benítez, and when he swings the cross Fernández’s way Leonardo Silva, the Cruzeiro centre back, cuts it out. There would have been a strong shout for hand ball there, but Estudiantes’ forwards didn’t seem to notice, and nor did the ref.
18 mins: After a bit of a mix-up in their own half Estudiantes give the ball away, Ramires plays a one-two with Wellington Paulista and almost gets through – fortunately for Estudiantes, Germán Ré is across from left back and covering superbly to close him down.
21 mins: I should now be typing GOL DEL ESTUDIANTES, but I can’t (well, I just did, but you know what I mean). A ball over the top is won by Fernández who turns, finds a square foot of space and dinks it into the path of strike partner Mauro Boselli… who mis-kicks from about eight yards out.
22 mins: A bit of knocking it about at the back, and Cruzeiro are on the offensive now – they’ve got a corner.
23 mins: The corner’s swung over by Gerson Magrão, headed in and Wellington Paulista just fails to connect at the post. Estudiantes go up the other end and Fernández cuts inside before skying a shot from outside the box. It’s thrill-a-minute at the moment.
24 mins: And there’s another! Wellington has the ball stolen off his toes by a combination of Rolando Schiavi and Mariano Andújar, who holds it superbly.
25 mins: Cruzeiro work it down the right and Jonathan crosses – Ramires’s header from the edge of the box isn’t strong enough to give Andújar any problems though.
26 mins: Wágner tries to send Kléber away, but the ball runs through to Andújar. Cruzeiro are certainly attacking more than in the first leg though.
27 mins: Down the left this time, and it’s another corner for the hosts after Kléber’s cross is turned round the post by Desábato.
30 mins: A Cruzeiro move which was going nowhere is broken and Fernández breaks with Boselli and Pérez to his right – he elects to chip across to the midfielder but gets it just slightly wrong. A subsequent Estudiantes throw comes to nothing and Cruzeiro are on the counter…
31 mins: …Which Leandro Benítez cuts out by bringing Leonardo Silva to ground. Free kick to Cruzeiro, about 30 yards out, way out on the right touchline.
33 mins: That free kick came to nothing, and Mariano Andújar’s free kick sails over everyone’s heads and sets Boselli free – until a brilliant saving tackle from Thiago Heleno prevents Estudiantes surely taking the lead. Cruzeiro counter and win a corner.
34 mins: The corner having evaded everyone and Cruzeiro not quite breaking through at the second attempt, it’s a free kick to Estudiantes about 40 yards from their own goal.
37 mins: A bit of handbags now. Ramires puts an end to a quickly building Estudiantes move by flattening La Gata Fernández, and captain Verón wades in to show him a piece of his mind. Verón and Kléber get booked for their troubles, and an Estudiantes player (Pérez?) appears to slap a Cruzeiro player in the face. Free kick to Estudiantes, which doesn’t live up to the billing and is easily cleared.
40 mins: Everything’s a free kick at the moment (apart from a tackle on Wágner a minute ago). Benítez is pushed over near the (Estudiantes) right corner flag and the ball is swung across and easily cleared. Estudiantes send it back in and now have a corner.
43 mins: A free kick near the halfway line is rolled into Boselli, who turns the defender before forgetting he’s Mauro Boselli, not Juan Sebastián Verón, and promptly finding the far corner of the stand behind the goal from twenty-plus yards.
45 mins: Rodrigo Braña sees the match’s third yellow card after paying slightly too much attention to Kléber. One extra minute, during which nothing happens.
Much more even at this stage than it was last week, with both teams having had real chances to take the lead. The main difference has been that whilst Cruzeiro’s have been half chances, well snuffed out by Estudiantes’ defence, Estudiantes’ chances have been two or three really good openings which their forwards (and Enzo Pérez) have made a mess of. A little more composure in the second half from Estudiantes could swing this, but if Cruzeiro keep playing the way they are, they’ll only get more dangerous in front of the home crowd…
23:06: Cruzeiro kick off the second half.
47 mins: Cruzeiro have had it in the box twice already, but neither has come to anything – first Jonathan headed away from Wellington, who wasn’t best pleased, and then the right back just stopped the ball running out on the byline and crossed straight into Andújar’s hands.
48 mins: Estudiantes get the first corner of the half after Fernández works down the left, but it’s cleared by the first man.
51 mins: GOL DO CRUZEIRO! Henrique breaks the deadlock in the 142nd minute of the tie with a low drive from close to thirty yards which swerves away from Andújar and gives the hosts the lead.
55 mins: Estudiantes haven’t got it together since going behind. Cruzeiro are starting to push their line a bit further up the pitch and closing down the space Fernández and Boselli can find, and for the last few minutes the visitors have been chasing shadows in the midfield.
57 mins: Well, it seems my words did the trick. ¡GOL DEL ESTUDIANTES! Gata Fernández stabs in after Fábio and his defenders failed to deal with a cross to the near post from Cellay. The match has suddenly caught fire.
60 mins: The midfields are struggling to settle down again after that excitement. Ramires gives it away to Verón, who passes to Pérez, who gets tackled. Cruzeiro don’t really go anywhere and end up with a throw in the middle of the pitch.
63 mins: A Cruzeiro ball over the top comes to nothing, and Estudiantes immediately try the same thing – Fábio punches it away from the edge of his box as far as Verón, who tries an audacious lobbed volley from nearly forty yards which he misjudges and sends well over.
67 mins: Free kick to Cruzeiro in their own half after Fernández backs into his marker too vigorously from a throw-in. The ball travels up the pitch and eventually, by way of a Cruzeiro foul, back to the visiting defence.
68 mins: After Pérez and Verón combine on the right, Boselli turns a defender and shoots from twenty yards – into Fábio’s hands.
69 mins: Fernández cuts down the left but can’t find any support, Boselli then overlaps him second time round and his cross is cut out. Eventually Pérez, switches to the left, comes inside and wins a corner for Estudiantes.
70 mins: Substitution for Cruzeiro: Thiago Ribeiro replaces Wellington Paulista; Athirson replaces Wágner.
70 mins: The corner comes to nothing, easily cleared.
71 mins: Another corner for Estudiantes, Boselli having tried to square back into the box.
72 mins: ¡GOL DEL ESTUDIANTES! Boselli rises above everyone at the corner and in the first even slightly poorly defended set piece that I can remember from either leg of this tie, Estudiantes take the lead. 2-1. With that goal, Boselli is now the tournament’s top scorer, with eight.
76 mins: The tables well and truly turned, Cruzeiro are starting to plough forward as they did in the latter part of the first leg now. Estudiantes are keeping their defensive line pretty tidily on the edge of their box, but it’ll be a test of their mettle if they can hold firm for the last quarter-of-an-hour.
79 mins: A free kick to Estudiantes after Fernández is taken down. It’s fairly central, a little to the ‘keeper’s right of goal – a decent position for Verón, but it’s thirty or thirty-five yards out. Verón sends it swerving and dipping about six inches over the angle of post and crossbar.
79 mins: Estudiantes substitution: Juan Manuel Díaz replaces Leandro Benítez.
82 mins: Pérez runs into the Cruzeiro box down the right but loses his footing on the way in and Cruzeiro are able to play the ball out.
83 mins: Thiago Ribeiro takes the ball on the left, touches it inside and sends in an angled drive from around twenty-five yards which flies through the defence but is well held by Mariano Andújar.
83 mins: With Kléber looking for a centre from the left channel, Cellay turns the ball behind for a corner to Cruzeiro, which they fail to do anything with.
85 mins: Athirson tries to play a team-mate in on the right, but substitute Díaz cuts it out and gives Cruzeiro another corner.
86 mins: Gerson’s corner is cleared at the near post but the ball is promptly met by Athirson, who sends a crashing drive across the box and neatly onto the angle of post and crossbar. What a shot.
88 mins: Free kick to Cruzeiro which is played across the box by Gerson, headed on by an Estudiantes head and met at the far post by a Cruzeiro player I’m afraid I can’t identify, who skies it.
89 mins: A yellow card for Díaz and a free kick from afar for Cruzeiro.
90 mins: The free kick is cleared. Three minutes of stoppage time.
90 mins: Estudiantes substitution: Gastón Fernández is replaced by 123-year-old José Luis Calderón.
92 mins: Cruzeiro are playing it around their own half but can’t get far into Estudiantes’ territory.
FULL TIME. ¡ESTUDIANTES CAMPEÓN!