Brazil's Fluminense beats Internacional to reach Copa Libertadores final

Wed, Oct 4, 2023
Soccer News (AP)

Brazil's Fluminense beats Internacional to reach Copa Libertadores final

PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil (AP) - Brazil's Fluminense beat local rivals Internacional 2-1 on Wednesday with two goals in six minutes to reach the final of the Copa Libertadores and seek its first title in the tournament.

The first leg between the two teams ended 2-2 last week at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, where the final will be played on Nov. 4.

Fluminense's rival will be known on Thursday when Argentina's Boca Juniors and Brazil's Palmeiras face off in Sao Paulo. The first leg ended goalless in Buenos Aires last week.

Internacional opened the scoring in the 9th minute with a header by Gabriel Mercado. Fluminense kept the pressure through the second half, but offered the hosts several counter-attacks that could have ended its hopes of playing the decider if striker Enner Valencia had been more accurate in two finishes.

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Fluminense equalized in the 81st minute with a counter-attack that ended in a gentle lob by striker John Kennedy. Six minutes later, Copa Libertadores' top goal scorer German Cano netted his 12th in the tournament from close range.

"People outside didn't believe us, but we did," said former Real Madrid defender Marcelo, back at his boyhood club since February. "This is a team of warriors."

Fluminense played the 2008 Copa Libertadores final but lost on penalties to Ecuador's Liga de Quito.

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