Sao Paulo, Dec 13 – Brazil’s Sao Paulo won the Copa Sudamericana final in farcical circumstances when Argentine outfit Tigre refused to return to the pitch following a half-time brawl.
Sao Paulo was awarded a 2-0 aggregate victory Wednesday after goals from Brazil international midfielder Lucas Moura and Osvaldo at the Morumbi Stadium here. It followed a 0-0 draw in last week’s first leg in Buenos Aires, reports Xinhua.
The Copa Sudamericana is South America’s second most important club competition after the Copa Libertadores.
Tigre’s Angel Diaz and and Sao Paulo’s Paulo Miranda were both shown red cards for their part in a melee after the half-time whistle.
Referee Enrique Osses cancelled the match 30 minutes after the scheduled restart following failed attempts by officials to convince the visiting team to change its mind.
Tigre coach Nestor Gorosito said his players had chosen to remain in the locker room due to fears for their safety.
“We were attacked as we came off the pitch,” Gorosito said.
“The police even pulled out their guns on us.”
Veteran Sao Paulo goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni criticised his opponents’ decision.
“You will have to ask them what happened because I didn’t see anything untoward,” the former Brazil international said.
“You saw what happened in the first half. I think it was much easier for them to stay in the dressing room than come back out to try to win the game.”
The match was Moura’s last for Sao Paulo before his January move to French outfit Paris Saint Germain, with whom he signed in August for a reported fee of 43 million euros.
“I am going but you can be sure that each and every one of you are inside my heart,” Moura told the club’s fans after the match.
“One day I want to come back to wear this wonderful shirt and win more trophies for the club. Tonight’s victory is for all of you.”