Juan Aurich emerged victorious after 300+ minutes of football to claim their first ever Peruvian league title with a penalty shootout win over Alianza Lima on Wednesday in the third, deciding, match in the title playoff.
El Ciclon del Norte had finished three points shy of Alianza in the regular season, but reacted strongly to losing the first leg of the title playoff 2-1 at home to record a 1-0 win in Lima on Sunday. With away goals not counted, the rules of the competition dictated a third match on neutral ground would be necessary to decide the champion.
The two teams took the pitch at the Estadio Nacional in Lima on Wednesday knowing that at the end of the night one of them would be crowned Copa Movistar champions, and the importance of the occasion seemed to get to both sides in a tentative match that ended 0-0 after normal and then extra time, requiring a penalty shootout to crown a victor.
Edgar Gonzalez missed the first kick of the shootout for Alianza Lima, with further misses from his team-mates Trujillo and Vilchez seeing them succumb to defeat after three successfully converted penalties from Juan Aurich.
In winning the title, Juan Aurich not only became champions for the first time in their 89-year history, but also the first team from the provinces to win the league title in 22 years, breaking Lima’s stranglehold.
Aurich’s Colombian coach Diego Umaña, 55, expressed his interest in the vacant national team job in his home country following the triumph, but should he stay in charge will have a meeting with reigning Copa Libertadores champions Santos to look forward to in early 2012 as Aurich will now join the Brazilian side in Group 1 of the 2012 competition, alongside a currently undetermined Bolivian team, and the winner of the qualification playoff between Internacional of Brazil and a Colombian team.
Penalty Shootout Highlights: