Paranaense win Copa Sudamericana after beating Junior on penalties

Curitiba (Brazil), Dec 13 (IANS): Brazil's Atletico Paranaense won their first Copa Sudamericana title after beating Colombia's Junior 4-3 in a penalty shoot-out.

Paranaense midfielder Thiago Heleno converted the final penalty to secure the title at the Baixada Arena here on Wednesday, after Junior's Gabriel Fuentes and Teofilo Gutierrez failed to convert their shots, reports Efe.

The teams had remained tied 1-1 in regular time in the second leg of the final, repeating the scoreline of the first leg, played in Colombia's Barranquilla.

The hosts were put ahead in the 27th minute by Pablo Teixeira but eased up afterwards, and Junior's Gutierrez equalized with a close-range header on a corner in the 57th minute.

The visitors lost the chance to win in extra time when Jarlan Barrera missed a penalty in the 110th minute.

This is the first international title for Atletico Paranaense, a club which shot to fame for the first time in 2005 when it finished runners-up in the Copa Libertadores, losing to compatriots Sao Paulo in the final.

Paranaense dominated the Copa Sudamericana from the beginning this year, beating Fluminense, Bahia, Caracas, Penarol and Newel's Old Boys en route to the title.