Universidad de Chile revelled in a near perfect Copa Sudamericana 2011 campaign. Last night’s 3-0 reverse of visiting Liga de Quito in the second leg of the final completed a resounding 4-0 aggregate success and earned the Santiago giants the first continental title in their 84-year-plus history.
It also left Jorge Sampaoli’s side having won ten and drawn two of their 12 outings in the competition, having scored 21 and conceded just two in the process.
The statistics also shone brightly on Universidad’s No 17. Eduardo Vargas, the solitary marksman in the decider’s first leg in Quito, hit a brace in the tournament’s concluding match to break the record for the number of goals in one edition of the Copa Sudamericana.
The 22-year-old striker’s second last night, in which he employed skill and pace to beat two LDU defenders before firing home, took him past fellow Chilean Humberto Suazo, who scored a hitherto unmatched ten goals for runners-up Colo-Colo in 2006.
The landmark enhanced what has been a superb year for Vargas. The Chile international has been linked with the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Inter Milan and AC Milan, and nominated for the South American Footballer of the Year award – restricted to players based on the continent at club level – alongside, among others, Santos superstar Neymar.
Vargas nevertheless has work remaining in 2011. On Sunday, he will spearhead his team’s attack away to Universidad Catolica in the first leg on their Chilean Clausura semi-final.