World Football - Millonarios and Libertad seal titles in South America

Millonarios, the team that was a stepping stone for Alfredo di Stefano on his way from River Plate to Real Madrid 60 years ago, have ended a 24-year wait for a record 14th Colombian league title.

World Football - Millonarios and Libertad seal titles in South America

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Millonarios players celebrate after defeating Independiente Medellin by penalty kicks in the final match of the Colombian First Division soccer league "Liga Postobon" in Bogota (Reuters)

The team from Bogota beat Independiente Medellin 4-3 on penalties at their El Campin stadium on Sunday after a 1-1 draw in the second leg of the Clausura championship final. The first leg had ended 0-0 in Medellin on Wednesday but away goals are not taken into account.

Goalkeeper Luis Delgado converted Millonarios' sixth penalty then saved Medellin's sixth taken by Andres Correa. Each side had missed one earlier spot kick in the shootout.

The balance of power in Colombia has shifted back to the capital this year after a quarter of a century. Millonarios' arch-rivals Independiente Santa Fe won the Apertura championship in the first half of the season, their first title since 1975.

Millonarios, who had won their last title in 1988, enjoyed a golden era midway through the last century.

Leading Argentines including Di Stefano, one of the all time greats, left their country during a players strike in 1948 to continue their careers in Colombia and were nicknamed The Blue Ballet. Di Stefano joined Real Madrid in 1953.

The Paraguayan Clausura championship went to the wire on Sunday with Libertad lifting their 16th title with a last-day 2-0 home win over Sportivo Luqueno to finish three points clear of Nacional.

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