Palmeiras won the Copa Libertadores for the second year in a row when an extra-time goal from Deyverson gave them a 2-1 win over Flamengo in an absorbing all-Brazilian final on Saturday.
It is the third time the Sao Paulo club have won South America’s equivalent of Europe’s Champions League following victories in 1999 and 2020.
Raphael Veiga put Palmeiras ahead after five minutes when he side-footed home a cross from the right but Gabriel Barbosa equalised for Flamengo with 18 minutes remaining.
However, Deyverson took advantage of slack defending by Manchester United loanee Andreas Pereira to steal the ball 30 metres from goal and then coolly beat goalkeeper Diego Alves five minutes into extra time.
A counter-attack started by defender Gustavo Gomez found right back Mayke free and onside thanks to Flamengo defender David Luiz. Mayke’s low cross reached Veiga, and he put it past goalkeeper Diego Alves.
Assisted by Giorgian de Arrascaeta, Barbosa – the man nicknamed Gabigol – scored from close range against goalkeeper Weverton, who was not quick enough to block the shot.
It didn’t take long for Palmeiras to regain the upper hand as the game headed into half an hour of extra time. A slip by Pereira allowed Deyverson – who replaced a fatigued Veiga minutes before – to drive into the area before and calmly beating goalkeeper Alves.
Deyverson returned to Palmeiras in June after a loan to Alaves, and was in tears after his first goal in this Copa edition.
The result is a personal triumph for Palmeiras’ Portuguese coach Abel Ferreira, who has become the first European to win the Libertadores twice.
It is also the first time a team has successfully defended the Libertadores title since Boca Juniors in 2001.