Dec 13 (Reuters) - Atletico Paranaense claimed their first international title when the Brazilian side survived a late scare before edging out Colombia’s Junior 4-3 in a penalty shootout to lift the Copa Sudamericana on Wednesday.
The second leg in Curitiba ended in a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes and extra time, leaving the tie deadlocked at 2-2 on aggregate and needing a shootout to decide the winner of South America’s second most prestigious club competition.
Junior had missed a penalty deep into extra time that would likely have secured victory and their spot-kick woes continued when Gabriel Fuentes and Teo Gutierrez both failed to convert their efforts to leave the home side on the brink of victory.
Renan Lodi, however, was unable to secure the title when he missed Atletico’s fourth penalty, before Thiago Heleno slotted home the side’s fifth and final spot kick to seal victory.
“We are to be congratulated, the first (international) title in the history of the club,” Atletico striker Pablo told reporters.
“I am so happy. I love this club. Now let’s go celebrate.”
Pablo had earlier put the home side ahead after 26 minutes but Colombian international Gutierrez equalised 12 minutes into the second half with a close-range header after a corner was nodded towards goal.
Jarlan Barrera then had a chance to win the title for the Baranquilla club but blasted his penalty over the bar with just 10 minutes remaining in extra time. (Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by John O’Brien)