Late goal from Breno in stoppage time sees Palmeiras clinch the Copa Libertadores with dramatic victory over Santos
It was a dramatic game at Maracanã with Palmeiras snatching a late narrow victory over fellow Brazilian rivals Santos to be crowned Copa Libertadores Champions.
Bruno Lopes was the ‘hero’ of the day as he scored the only goal of the game in the ninth minute of extra time that decided the tie. Another talking point was the fact that Santos boss Cuca donned his traditional shirt and jeans and eventually got sent off towards the end of the game.
The forward proved to be the difference as he sent in a stunning header following a cross from Rony late on. It ensured the final came to an exciting climax.
“I could never dream this could happen in my life, just the other day I was playing in the second division,” Lopes said after the game.
The game started well from both sides but was one with few chances ultimately. Raphael Veiga perhaps had the best chance of the first half when he sent an effort wide of Santos goal.
Just few minutes into the second half, Santos also came close as Lucas Verissimo could only head his effort just narrowly wide after a free-kick sent in from Marinho.
Not long later, Veiga once again sent his free-kick effort over the bar before Felipe Jonathan also sent saw his effort go cross via a volley. The deciding moments of the game were left for the final minutes.
Santos boss Cuca lost his cool and was given his marching orders for apparently trying to delay Marcos Rocha from going through with a throw-in.
Santos were obviously left disorganized after that incident and Palmeiras took advantage of it. With the game looking set for extra time, Breno rose highest in the 99th minute to seal the winning goal for Verdão. Wild celebrations erupted all over the stadium and the forward was even booked for taking off his shirt. Not that he would care anyways.
With the victory, Palmeiras have now won the Copa Libertadores trophy for the second time in their history. Their first ever win came over two decades ago, back in 1999.
Portuguese manager Abel Ferreira also made some history and became only the third European to guide a team to triumph in the continental competition.
The victory also means Palmeiras might have themselves a longer season as they will now partake in the Club World Cup scheduled to take place in Qatar next month.
It continues another impressive year for Palmeiras after they won the Paulista Championship last August. They can even add to their silverware as they still have a Copa do Brasil final showdown with Gremio next month as well.
In another statistic with context, the triumph for Palmeiras means a Portuguese manger has now seen Libertadores glory for the second year in succession. Veteran manager Jorge Jesus famously did it with Flamengo last year.
For Abel Ferreira, the victory could be more to him as it is the first career trophy for the 42-year-oldin his managerial stint.