Brazil’s Palmeiras wins title for second year

Deyverson scored a goal in extra time when reigning champions Palmeiras retained the Copa Libertadores on Saturday with a 2-1 victory over Flamengo in an all-Brazilian final in Montevideo.

Palmeiras scored in the fifth minute through Raphael Veiga, but former Inter Milan striker Gabriel Barbosa tied in the second half for 2019 winner Flamengo.

Manchester United midfielder Andreas Pereira, who was on loan, made a terrible mistake in the 95th minute to allow Deyverson to pass and earn Palmeiras the most important club title in South American football for the second year in a row and for the third time overall. .

“Our team was very good and very focused today. We literally left our lives on the field. We had to play like this, it was a Libertadores final,” said Palmeiras captain Gustavo Gómez.

Only the fifth final that contains two teams from the same country in the 61-year history of the tournament, was the first final of the Libertadores to present the winners of the two previous editions.

Sao Paulo-based Palmeiras, who beat Santos to lift the 2020 trophy in January, took the lead at the Centenario Stadium when Veiga attacked Mayke after an excellent pass away from Gomez’s defense.

Barbosa, the competition’s top scorer with 10 goals in the final, headed wide before Uruguayan international Giorgian De Arrascaeta forced a strong save from the Palmeiras Weverton goalkeeper.

Diego Alves kept Flamengo in the game with a quick save to dump Rony early in the second half, with former Chelsea and Arsenal defender David Luiz denied by another good save from Weverton.

Flamengo forward Bruno Henrique narrowly headed in a corner, but the Rio de Janeiro club leveled when Barbosa, nicknamed “Gabigol,” beat Weverton at his near post in the 72nd minute.

Two late Barbosa goals beat Flamengo to the 2019 final against Argentina’s River Plate, and they lost a golden opportunity to snatch victory as Michael opened wide with only Weverton to beat.

It proved costly when Deyverson, started early in overtime, caught Pereira in possession and freed himself to place the winner at Palmeiras, who became the first club to win consecutive titles since Boca Juniors in 2000-01.

Deyverson had played sparingly in the previous two rounds, but emerged as the unlikely hero, 10 months after Breno Lopes appeared with a 99th-minute goal against Santos with practically the finishing touch.

Palmeiras, also a 1999 Libertadores champion, will return to the FIFA Club World Cup next year in the United Arab Emirates, joining European champion Chelsea and African giant Al Ahly in the competition.

(AFP)

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