SAO PAULO, Brazil – Two of South America's most successful soccer teams face off in the Copa Libertadores final on Wednesday, with Santos attempting to win its first title since Pele was playing and Penarol trying to revive its dominance of the 1960s and '80s.
The clubs drew 0-0 in last week's first leg at Penarol in Uruguay, and Brazil's Santos heads into the decisive match in front of its fans at Pacaembu Stadium in Sao Paulo.
Santos is set to field Neymar, the 19-year-old who is touted as the future star of Brazil's national team, and possibly Brazilian teammate Paulo Henrique Ganso, who has recovered from a muscle injury.
''We have 90 minutes left,'' Neymar said. ''We need the fans packing the Pacaembu to help us. We are going to go after them.''
Penarol coach Diego Aguirre is confident but knows his team faces a hard task.
''The truth is that Santos is the favorite after drawing away and now playing at home, with the support of its fans,'' he said.
The Copa Libertadores is Latin America's most important club competition, the equivalent of the Champions League in Europe.
Santos is in the final for the first time since losing to Boca Juniors in 2003, when playmaker Diego and striker Robinho led the team.
Penarol is having its first shot at the title since beating America of Colombia in the 1987 final. With another triumph Wednesday, it would join Argentina's Boca Juniors as the second-most successful club in South America with six titles. Argentina's Independiente has seven.
Penarol won the first two Copa Libertadores, in 1960 and '61, then lost to Santos the following year. The Uruguayan giant lost the title to Independiente in 1965, but beat River Plate the next year. It also reached the final in 1970, losing to Argentina's Estudiantes.
Penarol also dominated in the 1980s, winning the '82 championship over Chile's Cobreloa and finishing runner-up to Brazil's Gremio the following year.
But after the title in 1987, the club hadn't been able to thrive in South America until this year's impressive campaign in which it eliminated traditionally strong teams like Velez Sarsfield of Argentina, Universidad Catolica of Chile and defending Copa Libertadores champion Internacional of Brazil.
''Penarol is not just another team,'' Santos striker Ze Eduardo said. ''It didn't get to the final without having quality, we respect it a lot and we will need to play very well to win the title.''
The Uruguayans were in similar position when facing defending champion Internacional in the round of 16. The teams drew 1-1 in Uruguay and Penarol had to pull off an upset victory in Brazil to advance. And it did it despite allowing an early goal in the first half.
''We know that we could've had a better result in Montevideo, we had the best chances to score but couldn't get the win,'' Penarol goalkeeper Sebastian Sosa said. ''But if we play like that again we can make our fans happy.''