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Flamengo win Copa Libertadores with dramatic late goals in 2-1 victory over River Plate


Two dramatic late strikes by Gabriel Barbosa won Flamengo their second ever Copa Libertadores after they had been losing for the majority of the game.

Rafael Santos Borre gave River the lead after 14 minutes, but Barbosa hit back in the 87th minute and then again in injury time to secure a famous win for the Brazilian side.

The game was played in the huge Estadio Monumental in Peru, which can hold up to 80,093, more than Old Trafford.

A colourful capacity crowd packed inside to see a bizarre start to the match when the trophy was paraded onto the pitch by a host of people in fancy dress as the Stormtroopers from Star Wars.

Stormtroopers led out the Copa Libertadores trophy

Rio’s famous Christ the Redeemer wore Flamengo colours ahead of the game

And Borre certainly used his force to give River the lead after 14 minutes when he ran onto Matias Suarez’ cross and fired low and hard into the bottom right hand corner of the net.

After half-time Flamengo looked brighter and missed a huge chance ten minutes after the restart when first Barbosa then Everton Ribeiro’s shots were blocked by some last ditch River defending.

Ignacio Fernandez went close for River after 67 minutes but his half-volley flew just wide of the post.

An aerial view of the stadium

Rafael Santos Borre celebrates giving River Plate the lead

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River had further chances to extend their lead and were made to pay when Barbosa, who is the top scorer in the competition, equalised with just three minutes to play when he tapped home from close range.

And the comeback was complete when the same player ran onto Javier Pinola’s header to fire home.

There was still time for two sendings off for either side as Exequiel Palacios and Barbosa saw red for a flare up before the referee blew his whistle to scenes of delirium from the Flamengo supporters.

The result sees River lose after playing in their second final in a row following their dramatic win over bitter rivals Boca Juniors in Madrid last season, a game which was postponed and moved from Buenos Aries after supporters pepper sprayed the Boca bus.

It was a feisty affair in Lima

Gabriel Barbosa celebrates his equaliser

Flamengo are back in action when they play Ceara in the Brazilian Serie A on Thursday, while River are due to play Central Cordoba in the Copa Argentina on Wednesday.





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