A goal from the Argentine veteran German Cano and another from the youth John Kennedy They allowed the Fluminense win by 2-1 to Boca Juniors in the final of the Libertadores Cupplayed this Saturday at the Maracaná stadium in Rio de Janeiro and which was only decided in extra time, and win their first continental title.
The Fluminense, who dominated a match in which Cano established himself as the tournament’s top scorerfinally joined the group of Brazilian clubs that have won the Libertadores and fulfilled the dream that they let slip away fifteen years ago, when they lost in the final of the 2008 edition against the Ecuadorian Liga de Quito.
The victory of the Rio team not only expanded Brazil’s dominance in the Libertadoresnow champion in five consecutive editions after the doubles of Flamengo (2019 and 2022) and Palmeiras (2020 and 2021), but it prevented Boca from winning its long-awaited seventh continental title and equaling the record of Independiente de Avellaneda.
The continental title rewarded offensive, daring and of ‘jogo bonito’ defended by coach Fernando Dinizwho simultaneously serves as interim coach of Brazil, and punished the option of Boca coach, Jorge Almirón, for the counterattacks.
The first minutes of the game were completely dominated by Fluminense, who, at home and with an enveloping game of long and short passes, went completely on the attack and practically did not let Boca get past the middle of the field.
The attacks of the Brazilian team on the left with Arias and on the right with Keno joining Mercelo were increasingly dangerous and twice in a row they forced Advíncula to resort to fouls to stop Keno.
Fluminense’s first clear option came at 12 minutes, when, after a foul by Marcelo, Cano headed dangerously but found Romero well positioned.
Immediately Boca, who were playing behind, responded with their first counterattack and Merentiel managed to get close to the area and kick, but Fabio saved easily.
After a few moments, the Xeneize team began to balance the game and began to go on the attack a little more, but with difficulties in defining and with Cavani totally isolated.
Fluminense alone Their dominance took shape in the 35th minute after a play on the right with Arias and Keno, who threw the ball into the area for Cano to open the scoring.scored his thirteenth goal in the Libertadores and confirmed himself as the tournament’s top scorer.
With the partial advantage, the Rio tricolor mHe retained control but without so much anxiety and managed the last minutes of the first half with exchanges of passes.
Although the xeneizes tried to react at the beginning of the second half and generated more opportunities, mainly with Merentiel, Fluminense almost extended at 54 minutes after a play in which Arias and Keno went back to look for Cano but Romero beat them to it.
A few minutes later, Fluminense regained control of the match but Boca did not give up the attempt to tie.
In one of the Buenos Aires offensives, the Brazilian team gave him a lot of space and Peruvian Advíncula, with a strong shot from outside the area, tied the game at 71 minutes.
After the tie, the match lost a little rhythm and intensityeven because the coaches made several modifications thinking about a possible extension, although the entry of the youth John Kennedy gave Fluminense a little more offensive power.
In the first half of extra time, the game was played more in the center of the field, with both teams taking turns dominating, and without many finishes. But when Boca seemed more interested in defining on penalties, John Kennedy took advantage of an attack by Fluminense to, after a play by Barbosa and Keno,notice the title goal.
The youth, however, He went too far in celebrating with the fans by taking off his shirt and ended up being expelled.
The Argentine Fabra was also sent off for an attack on Nino confirmed by the VAR and, with equal players on the field, Flu preferred not to take risks in the second half of extra time and manage the advantage that gave them the title, although Guga almost scored the final goal in a counterattack.
1 – Boca Juniors: Sergio Romero; Luís Advíncula, Nicolás Figal (d.112, Bruno Valdez), Nicolás Valentini, Frank Fabra; Cristian Medina (m.106, Taborda), Ezequiel Fernández (m.106, Saracchi), Pol Fernández, Valentín Barco (m.77, Langoni); Miguel Merentiel (m.91, Janson) and Edinson Cavani (m.77, Benedetto).
2 – Fluminense: Fabio; Samuel Xavier (m.84, Guga), Nino, Felipe Melo (m.51, Marlon), Marcelo (m.79, Diogo Barbosa); André, Paulo Henrique Ganso (d.79, John Kennedy), Martinelli (d.79, Lima); Jhon Arias, Keno (m.101: David Braz) and Germán Cano.
Goals: 1-0, m.35: Germán Cano. 1-1, m.71, Advíncula. 2-0, m.98: John Kennedy.
Referee: The Colombian Wilmar Roldán sent off John Kennedy, Fabra and the Fluminense assistant Eduardo Barros and cautioned Cavani, Keno, Figal, Kennedy, Langoni, Nino, Cano and Saracchi with yellow.
Incidents: Match for the final of the Copa Libertadores played at the Maracaná stadium in Rio de Janeiro before 69,232 spectators who paid 6.4 million dollars for tickets.