Newcomers at the ready

When the draw was made for the first two phases of the Copa Libertadores 2008 last December in Asuncion, few observers paid much attention to Group 8. With the likes of LDU and Fluminense populating the section that was perhaps no surprise. After all, the only other Ecuadorian side to reach the final of the competition was Barcelona, while the Brazilians had only ever made two appearances in South America's premier club tournament.

How things have changed in the six months since then, however. Tonight, with the region's heavyweights having fallen by the wayside some time ago, the aforementioned outsiders will run out for the very first time in a Copa Libertadores final. Ahead of a historic night in the competition, sets the scene for this most unexpected of showdowns.

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