The Arequipa-based FBC Melgar defeated Lima club, Sporting Cristal, 3-2 last night to win the 2015 Peruvian soccer league championship.
The championship is FBC Melgar’s first in 34 years and comes during the 100th anniversary year of the Arequipa club. After the game was played at San Agustin University’s Monumental stadium in Arequipa, tens of thousands of jubilant fans filled the streets of downtown Arequipa to sing songs and celebrate.
In Peru’s Professional Soccer Sports Association (AFDP) playoffs, each matchup is decided by total goals scored in two games played on the home field of each team. After a 2-2 tie in Lima’s national stadium on Sunday, last night’s game in Arequipa would determine the championship for 2015.
FBC Melgar defeated Sporting Cristal in regular time with goals from Yrsael Zuñiga, Omar Fernandez and Bernardo Cuesta.
“Melgar had ups and downs, like everyone else, but it knew how to sustain its performance and stay on top of the championship,” writes El Comecio sports reporter Arturo Leon. “A deserved win for a team that was the most consistent of the year.”
The game completed the 2015 season which saw playoffs featuring Trujillo-based Cesar Vallejo, Cusco club Garcilaso de la Vega and Sporting Cristal of Lima’s Rimac district also vying for the championship.
The AFDP championships are historically dominated by Lima-based clubs. FBC Melgar’s victory last night is only the second time in the last 25 years that a team from outside Lima won Peru’s national championship. Before Chiclayo-based Juan Aurich won the tournament in 2011, the last champions from outside Lima were FBC Melgar in 1981.
Watch highlights from the game below.