Late 'Gabigol' double secures Libertadores for Flamengo
2019 Copa Libertadores final
Late drama in Lima as a brace from Gabriel Barbosa "Gabigol" was enough to break River Plate hearts as Flamengo secured their first Copa Libertadores title since 1981.
Many observers will say that River have every right to feel hard done by and it's true that the Argentine side dominated the action but just lacked the final ko punch to see off the Brazilian outfit.
Borre opened the scoring in the 14th minute for "Los Milionarios" and the Argentine side outplayed the Serie A champions elect with ease.
The second half offered more of the same and just when it felt that the cup was heading back to Buenos Aires, Pratto was caught in possession and Bruno Henrique did well to thread through to de Arrascaeta who found Gabigol who slotted Flamengo level. River had barely found their composure when Pinola headed a loose ball into the path of Gabigol who drove past Armani to secure the title for the Rio outfit. Shades of Manchester United vs. Bayern at Camp Nou in 1999.
Flamengo head to Qatar for the Club World Cup as rumours of a Gallardo departure show no sign of abating.
What a night for Gabigol, two late goals and a red card.
Shades of Manchester United's win over Bayern Munich in Barcelona in the Champions League where two late goals for the English side were enough to secure the title.
Tears in the River end with Flamengo fans in raptures.
All over in Lima. Flamengo are 2019 Copa Libertadores champions
Well, it wouldn't be a Libertadores final wityhout a smattering of red cartds ; )
Barbosa also red carded for Fla.
Henrique kicked by the River man.
Straight red for Palacios as nerves fray.
Seconds remaining .... what a turnaround here in Lima.
Pinola heads the ball into the patch of the Brazilian striker who makes no mistake in driving past Armani.
Gabigol carded for the celebration
Gabigol must have secured the title for Flamengo....
Can River bounce back from the psychological blow ? Will Flamengo kick on and turn the tie around? Looks like extra time will reveal all.
4 minutes of time to be added.
A major blow for River who were just minutes away from securing the title.
Pratto culpabale giving the ball away and allowing the oposition to strike
Gabigol draws Flamengo level
Flamengo simply lacking the craft and creativity to carve River open.
Three to go plus time added on.
Arao off and Vitinho on for Fla.
Nerves on the Flamengo bench.
Counter from River with Pratto tamely launching at Alves.
River just happy to launch the ball forward and let the men in red and black dictate the play.
Corner for Fla'....Straight into Armani's arms. A colussus for River in the goal ...
Flamengo fans right now ....
10' to go.... River still in control as Palacios almost makes it 2, the man from Tucuman just pulling the ball wide.
Rafinha carded for a foul on Pratto.
Gabigol threads the ball but once again the River defensive line are on hand to intercept.
River break and launch a 3 vs 2 but Pratto decided to shoot from long range when a pass would have been the more prudent option.
Flamengo now on the offensive as they sense time is against them.
Diaz on - Casco off (River change)
15' remaining and a major sense of urgency now as Flamengo throw everything forward. River starting to look tired.
River change: Borre (goal scorer) off and Pratto on.
Flamengo reduced to long range efforts as former Atletico Madrid man Filipe Luis blazes the ball over the bar.
Flamengo fans try and spur their side on with time ticking away. The introduction of Diego has added a slight spark to the Brazilian side.
Card for Enzo Perez
20' left in Lima. River edging towards a fifth Libertadores win and would draw level with Peñarol in the all time winners ranking.
Change for River: Alvarez on with Nacho Fernandez making way
River push again and look closer to bagging a second than Flamengo do in finding an equaliser.
Diego Ribas on for Gerson. First change of the night for Fla´.
Tired legs now atsrting to appear at El Monumental.
River look very, very, very comfortable as Flamengo still struggle to create danger.
Casco lunges at Rafinha and River fans panic with the winger already on a card. Lenient there from the Chilean match official as no card is awarded. A let-off for River!
Many River fans worried that another Milionarios win will end up increasing the chances of Marcelo Gallardo leaving with his stock getting ever stronger. Barcelona strongly linked with the Argentine coach.
River still in control here in Lima as we hit the hour mark.
VAR verdict - No penalty !
A harsh decison if given ...but with the handball rule these days who knows....
Flamengo have the goal at their mercy. Three chances for the men in red and black as River defenders and ultimately armani prevent the Braziliajn side.
Enzo Perez has been so good tonight. A rock at the centre of everything River do.
Card for Mari. First Fla name in the book.
It's not been Flamengo's night so far.....
Armani is so dominant in his area. Flamengo will need to offer more than speculative lofted balls. River go close again with Casco driving a dangerous right footed effort which fizzes wide of the Alves goal.
A tame shot from Suarez but Alves happy to let the ball drift wide.
Flamengo looking a little brighter in the early stages of the second half but still looking like a side somewhat shell-shocked. This team are cruising to a Serie A title and not used to being dictated to.
Gabigol finally gets on the ball and delivers Flamengo's first shot on target. Straight at Armani and with little danger.
Off we go in Lima. River 45' away from retaining their title and securing their ticket to Qatar in mid-late December.
0 shots on target from Flamengo on the entire first 45'. An alarming stat for any Mengao supporter.
River, the first side to take to the pitch in Lima.
One would assume that Flamengo cannot play as badly as the first 45'. Jorge Jesus will surely rally his troops at the break as the game is just where River want it at present with Marcelo Gallardo's side one of the most solid defensively in South America.
It's the River fans who are celebrating at the break.
As good as River have been in the first 45', Flamengo have been hugely disappointing and a shadow of the team who put five past Gremio in the second semi final. Gabriel Barbosa has been totally anonymous for the Brazilian side.
That's it for the first half as the whistle sounds to bring an end to the first 45'. River very much in the box seat.
Suarez carded for a late tackle.
"Vamos, vamos River Plate" chant the fans in the goal behind Diego Alves...
3 minutes of time to be added.
Final minute of normal time and Armani has enjoyed a placid evening in Lima, the River stopper yet to be properly tested by the men in red and black.
Borre almost makes it 2 but the flag is up.
Winding down to the interval. River very much good value for their lead here in Lima.
Fortunately both players have recovered and can carry on.
Play held up after a clash of heads between De la Cruz and Rafinha.
Nothing coming off for the Brazilian side at present as pass after pass mishit with River the more precise side in this first half.
River win a dangerous free after Palacios is fouled.
A bird's eye view of El Monumental in Lima tonight.
Jorge Jesus looking the more anxious of the head coaches on the bench. The Portuguese manager not impressed with what his side are offering tonight in Lima.
Better from Flamengo now as they pen River back and win a series of corners. Armani dominant though in the River box and lofted balls into the box are meat and drink for the River stopper.
Casco carded and the first name in the book tonight after a foul on Everton.
"Gabigol" on the ground after being caught offside. Disappointing from the No. 9 tonight.
The goal really has taken the wind out of Flamengo's sails with the Brazilian side penned back in their own half and unable to create any danger.
Suarez for River, delivering the best display to date tonight.
De la Cruz lucky not to collect a card after a late challenge on Rafinha.
River playing with their usual high pressing tempo. Can they sustain this level ?
De la Cruz and Suarez combine well on the left flank with the final touch letting the River man down as the move breaks down.
River were enjoying the better of the game just before scoring after a brighter start from the Brazilian side.
The early goal is certainly good for the neutral. Flamengo now need to offer something and take the game to Gallardo's side. They do have the firepower but we've yet to see Gabriel Barbosa aka Gabigol on the ball.
Clinical finish from Santos Borre firing into the corner right footed with nothing Alves can do after hesitation in the Flamengo defence.
Better from River now as the Argentine side enjoy some possession in the Flamengo half.
The pitch at El Monumental does look very dry with the ball holding up.
Bruno Henrqique looking very sharp tonight. The 28-year-old picking up his first Brazil national cap recently as a recognition to this great vein of form.
Nothing giving from the free for the Brazilian side as Henrique tries his luck from long range. Flamengo enhoying the brighter start.
The game punctuated with fouls now and limited rhythm after just 9 minutes. Fla win a free-kick. Set pieces an Achilles heel for River!
Rodrigio Caio receiving attention after an accidental elbow to the nose. Blood dribbling from the defenders nose.
Worry for River as Armani collides with Henrique as he fists clear. Free awarded for the Argentine stopper.
Cagey start from both sides with the Brazilian side enjoying the better of the early possession.
Early indication would suggest slightly more Flamengo fans in the ground. A tremendous racked being generated by both sets of supporters.
The stadium in Lima is a riot of colour with red being the predominant hue!
Fla' start the action and off we go in Lima. The 2019 Libertadores final is underway.
Both captains exchange pennants with kick-off seconds away
Roberto Tobar (Chile) is tonight's match official.
Flamengo are favourites for tonight's game with the bookmakers. A Fla' win paying at 2/1. River win pays out at 3/1.
Spectacular pic of the El Monumental stadium with kick off imminent.
The teams take to the pitch .... Flamengo v River is just minutes away.
Stormtroopers from Star Wars now on the El Monumental pitch as they guard the Libertadores trophy.
The winners also progress to December's FIFA 2019 Club World Cup in Qatar.
Don't forget folks that tonight's game is a one off final. There will be no second leg. Extra time and penalty kicks will decide who is the 2019 Libertadores winners.
The overall podium in Copa Libertadores winners:
1st - 7 wins: Independiente (Arg)
2nd: 6 wins: Boca Juniors (Arg)
3rd: 5 wins: Peñarol (Uru)
Some stats ahead of tonight's game:
10,000 police are on duty to oversee the game.
350 million, anticipated global audience
1,600 euro, asking price for tickets today in central Lima (black market)
So no place in the River XI for JuanFer Quintero. The 26-year-old player is still not fully match fit after his cruciate injury in March.
Flamengo XI confirmed
River starting XI
How's the weather in Lima this evening for the game we hear you ask.... Well, conditions are ideal, limited sun but a mild 70 degrees Celsius. Ideal conditions for players and fans alike.
Both sides have the Libertadores commemorative patch on their respective shirts tonight.
Tonight it's Flamengo looking to improve on their sole 1981 Libertadores triumph with River looking for their fifth win. Gallardo hoping for his personal triple with "Los Milionarios"
Good to see both sides wearing the classic iconic kits tonight. Fla´ in their red and black hoops. River in their white shirt with the red sash.
AS English predictions:
Rob: Flamengo 1-2 River
Johnny: Flamengo 2-1 River
Paul: Flamemgo 1-1 River (River win on penalty kicks)
Expecting team news imminently ahead of the game with just an hour to go !
How do we see the final playing out ?
The action gets underway at 21:00 CET as Brazil's Flamengo face River Plate from Argentina.
Hello, and a warm welcome to our live coverage of the 2019 Copa Libertadores from Lima (Peru).