Pope’s team plays Copa Libertadores final with chance to win its 1st major international title

Published: August 12, 2014

By Tales Azzoni

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

SAO PAULO, Brazil — Pope Francis’ favourite team is on the verge of winning its first major international title.

Argentine club San Lorenzo will host Paraguayan rival Nacional on Wednesday in the second leg of the Copa Libertadores final. The teams drew 1-1 last week in the first leg in Paraguay.

A home victory will secure the most important trophy in San Lorenzo’s 106-year history.

Both sides have yet to win the Latin American club competition

Wednesday’s hosts made headlines around the world after Pope Francis acknowledged that he is an avid supporter of the club.

When San Lorenzo won the league title in Argentina last year, the pope hosted the team in the Vatican and even hoisted the trophy in St. Peter’s Square for all to see. He also reminisced about going to the stadium as a child with his father to watch the team play.

Francis follows football closely and has built an enormous collection of jerseys since his election after meeting with many visiting teams. Before the World Cup final between Argentina and Germany in Brazil, he gave his word that there would be no papal intervention in Argentina’s fortunes, promising he wouldn’t pray for any team. Germany eventually won 1-0 in extra time.

San Lorenzo, a 12-time Argentine champion in its 12th Copa Libertadores, had an impressive run on its way to the final, eliminating clubs such as Gremio and Cruzeiro, the defending Brazilian champion.

Meanwhile, their Paraguayan opponents are not nearly as popular as country rivals Olimpia and Cerro Porteno. The 110-year-old team is in the final for the first time.

San Lorenzo has one of the biggest fan bases in Argentina. Club officials had to anticipate the sales of tickets for Wednesday’s decisive match after several thousand fans started lining up days before the ticket centres were scheduled to open.

The team’s only international titles so far are the 2001 Copa Mercosul and the 2002 Copa Sudamericana, both second-tier competitions in South America.

“I have no doubt that we will come out victorious with the help of 50,000 of our fans,” said Ignacio Piatti, who will not be allowed to play on Wednesday after transferring to Major League Soccer team Montreal Impact.

Nacional, which scored late in the first leg to avoid a defeat in front of its home crowd, will be without defender Ramon Coronel because of an injury, but midfielder Marcos Riveros will be back after a suspension.

“We will have the same fighting spirit,” Nacional coach Gustavo Morinigo said. “This match will be just as hard as the first one.”

The match at the El Nuevo Gasometro Stadium is scheduled to start at 9:15 p.m. local time (0015 GMT).

——

Follow Tales Azzoni on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/tazzoni

11:27ET 12-08-14

[+]

Tags: ,



Readers Comments (0)

Comments are closed.

Featured

Pakistan

Pakistani girl gunned down by uncle over loud music

VANCOUVER DESI A 16-year-old girl from Pakistan is dead after she was gunned down by her uncle for refusing to turn down loud music, according…
Continue Reading »

desi hiker

This is the picture a South Asian hiker took of a 135-kg black bear. A few minutes later, it killed him

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS A New Jersey hiker killed by a bear in September took a series of photos of the animal with his cellphone before…
Continue Reading »

Badaun suicide

Indian investigators say two sisters found hanging from a tree were not murdered or gang raped

HINDUSTAN TIMES The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has concluded after a five-month probe that the two teenaged Badaun cousins had committed suicide, putting to…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

domestic violence South Asian Surrey

Alex Sangha: Five step plan to curb domestic violence in the South Asian community

ALEX SANGHA SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI There have been a number of high profile murders in the South Asian community in Surrey over the years. …
Continue Reading »

Surrey crash-desi

Surrey crash victim’s son says deporting parolee would ‘send a message’

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW SURREY — A Surrey man who killed an elderly man when he smashed his brother’s Corvette into a Surrey bus shelter…
Continue Reading »

Islamophobia

Stereotyping is alive and well when it comes to Muslim and Sikh religious symbols in Canada

GORDON MCINTYRE VANCOUVER DESI One-third of British Columbians believe radicalized people live among us, according to a poll commissioned by The Province. The survey of…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

10413566DESI

University confessions Facebook pages can show the hardships of college life in B.C. (w/video)

NICK EAGLAND VANCOUVER DESI “Today I decided that I would start studying for finals,” an anonymous student wrote to the UBC Confessions Facebook page on…
Continue Reading »

terrorism

Dharm Makwana: Presumed guilty until you miss your flight

  DHARM MAKWANA VANCOUVER DESI By the end of the ordeal my wife was on the verge of tears. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection…
Continue Reading »

suffer in silence

Help for Victims of Sexual Abuse

NIRMALA RANIGA VANCOUVER DESI The reasons for not reporting incidents of sexual abuse or harassment are many and varied. Recently, we have addressed some of…
Continue Reading »

cricket-terrorism-Belgium

Pakistani cricketer labeled terrorist for carrying bat on public transport, deported from Belgium

VANCOUVER DESI A young Pakistani cricketer and his family have been forced out of Belgium after he was labeled a terrorist for carrying his cricket…
Continue Reading »

wild pets

Two “snake catchers” arrested in India for illegally keeping venomous pets

VANCOUVER DESI Two men in Southern India who are known as local “snake catchers” have been arrested and thrown in jail for illegally keeping venomous…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Junior Lata-Bollywood-song-music

Video of 11-year-old girl singing Bollywood song ‘Satyam Shivam Sundaram’ goes viral

VANCOUVER DESI A video of a 11-year-old Indian girl singing Lata Mangeshkar’s Bollywood song Satyam Shivam Sundaram has gone viral on social media and drawn…
Continue Reading »

sex video-Pakistan-Bollywood

Bollywood actress Veena Malik and her husband sentenced to 26 years in jail for blasphemy

IANS Dubai – Controversial Bollywood actress Veena Malik has expressed “shock” at a Pakistan court sentencing her and her husband, among others, to 26 years…
Continue Reading »

Desi sex

Bollywood’s Emraan Hashmi says he never refused to work with Canadian pornstar Sunny Leone (w/gallery)

IANS Mumbai – Emraan Hashmi denies that he refused to work with adult film star Sunny Leone for a special song in “Ungli”. In fact,…
Continue Reading »