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VIDEO: Egypt-eligible Blanco leads Lanús to Copa Sudamericana triumph
Egypt-eligible striker Ismael Blanco scored a goal and assisted the other to lead Argentina’s Lanús to win the regional Copa Sudamericana with a 2-0 win over Ponte Preta of Brazil (3-1 on aggregate) on Wednesday.
Ismael Blanco was named Man of the Match as he steered Club Atlético Lanús to win the Copa Sudamericana – South America’s second club competition, equivalent to the Europa League – with a 2-0 win over Brazilian side Ponte Preta on Wednesday.
30-year-old Blanco, who is an Argentina-born striker of Egyptian origin, set up the first goal with a low drive into the path of Paraguayan defender Victor Ayala in the 24th minute, before poking home a loose ball following a corner to double their lead at the Ciudad de Lanús stadium on the stroke of half-time.
Copa Sudamericana winners Lanús, who won 3-1 on aggregate, secure a spot in next year’s Copa Libertadores.
This was only Lanús’ third title in top-flight football, after the modest club from the outskirts of Buenos Aires won the now defunct Copa Conmebol in 1996 and the 2007 Argentine league title.
While Lanus are currently second in the Argentina Primera A, Ponte Preta – who eliminated Sao Paulo in their semi-final – was relegated to the second division of the Brazilian league just a few weeks ago.
“I felt I owed the team a goal and mine turned out to (be the one) to secure victory,” Blanco told reporters after the triumph.
Blanco, who only has three league goals to his name, remains eligible to represent Egypt at the international level as the former TSV 1860 München striker has never been capped by Argentina.