Gremio win Copa Libertadores to take final slot at Club World Cup in UAE

November 30 – Brazil’s Gremio will complete the line-up for the Club World Cup to be played in the UAE in December, after winning the Copa Libertadores for a third time, beating Argentina’s Lanus 2-1. The Brazilian club had won the first leg 1-0. 

On the outskirts of the Argentinean capital Buenos Aires the visitors took a double lead inside the first half through goals from left winger Fernandinho and striker Luan. The Brazilians played the attacking style of football that has seen them score 116 goals this year.

In the first leg Lanus had tried to stifle their opponents by sitting deep. The goals left Lanus needing three goals to force extra time and Sand scored from the penalty spot in the 72nd minute to reduce the deficit.

Gremio had midfielder Ramiro sent off as they tried to run down the clock, but another miracle for Lanus, who had reversed a four goal deficit in the semi-finals against local rivals River Plate, was not to be. Gremio were crowned South American champions.

The club from Rio Grande do Sul also won the continental title in 1983 and 1995. Gremio coach Renato Gaucho is the first Brazilian to win the Copa Libertadores both as a player and a coach. Lanus was playing its first final of the Copa Libertadores. “I have no words to describe this, we deserved it so much,’” said Gaucho.

Gremio, the first Brazilian winners of the Copa Libertadores since 2013, will represent South America in the Club World Cup. They will face the winner of the quarter-final between Mexico’s Pachuca and Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca. European champions Real Madrid are the favourites to defend their title.

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