In the Brazilian final of the Copa Libertadores, the South American counterpart to the European Champions League, Palmeiras São Paulo won 1-0 (0-0) against FC Santos. Palmeiras replaced the previous season’s title holder, Flamengo Rio de Janeiro, as the best club team on the continent. It is the second time since 1999 that the Brazilians have won the competition.
For a long time, the path to triumph in front of 5,000 authorized spectators in the Maracanã was one thing above all else: unsightly. Both teams fought an intense exchange of blows, in which successful combinations were rare and scoring chances were almost impossible to see. It was only in the 77th minute that one of the two teams shot the opponent’s goal for the first time. Only one overhead kick from team-mate Kaio Jorge should follow the flick of Santos’ Pituca until stoppage time, both attempts were easy prey for Weverton in the goal of Palmeiras.
Eight minutes should then be replayed. There were significantly more, not least because Cuca, the coach of FC Santos, was sent to the stands: The 57-year-old had prevented Palmeiras defender Marcos Rocha from taking a throw-in quickly and snatched the ball. The action was punished with a red card (96th minute), Rocha, who had tackled Cuca to the ground during the action, saw the yellow card.
The pack formation resulting from the confrontation cost additional minutes, which were added to the already lush stoppage time. In the ninth minute of stoppage time, Palmeiras also scored the first shot on goal: Substitute Breno Lopes caught a Rony cross perfectly with his head and placed the ball in the far corner (99th). The late 1-0 was followed by a few more extra minutes, in which, however, there was no more chance for FC Santos.
As a result of the success, Palmeiras will take part in the Club World Cup in Qatar (February 4th to 11th) as a representative of the South American association Conmebol and could face Bayern Munich in the final.