(EFE) – Forward Bruno Henrique, with a double, and goalkeeper Diego Alves became the heroes of Flamengo this Wednesday, which beat Barcelona 2-0 and was one step away from qualifying for the CONMEBOL final Liberators.
The Carioca team, extra-motivated by the presence of an audience that did not stop cheering on their return to Maracana, resolved the match with two blows from Bruno Henrique in the 21st and 38th minute.
Those of Renato Gaúcho were a steamroller at times. His self-confidence in attack, however, covered his deficiencies in defense, where David Luiz, former Chelsea, Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain debuted. If not for Diego Alves, the result would have been different.
The Guayaquil painting deserved more. He played with one less for most of the second half after the expulsion of Nixon Molina and still brought serious danger to the rival goal.
The ‘Fla’ also suffered an expulsion, that of Léo Pereira, but when everything was decided, in the 89th minute.
The return will be on the 29th at the Monumental de Guayaquil.
The first round at the Maracana was a great game from minute one. In the first quarter of an hour, everything happened. Counterattacks, controversies, clear goal chances and impossible saves. A duel worthy of a Libertadores semis.
In this exchange of blows, Flamengo, who put in infernal pressure, encouraged by a fans that did not stop roaring, emerged victorious.
Bruno Henrique was in charge of transforming all that momentum into goals. The first in the 21st minute with a head, after a pass from Gabigol.
Before, Diego Alves saved the locals with two impossible covers at the exit of a corner. The former goalkeeper of Almería and Valencia cleared two shots from Mastriani and Preciado that were sung goals.
Almost in the sequence, the Brazilian goalkeeper also thwarted another frank opportunity for the bullfighters.
Flamengo would react with the first from Bruno Henrique. From there, the Rio squad grew, closed the defensive holes and began to attack with a little more order and concert.
Bruno Henrique found the post in the 33rd minute. Andreas Pereira also ran into the wood of Javier Burrai’s goal in the 36th minute. A minute later the second blow would arrive in a withering counterattack.
It was a linked play between Everton Ribeiro, Gabigol and Vitinho, which crossed low so that Bruno Henrique only had to push the ball to the back of the net.
The game would become even more expensive for Flamengo with the expulsion for a double yellow of the midfielder Molina, after a hard tackle to the goalscorer of the night, Bruno Henrique, in the 46th minute.
Despite having one man less, Barcelona surprised at the start of the second half. Again Diego Alves had to appear miraculously to avoid Carcelén’s goal.
The ‘Fla’ recovered from the shock with a header from Vitinho. Shortly after, Bruno Henrique touched the third in his private account, but Castillo launched in time to block his shot.
The last quarter of an hour was very uphill for Barcelona, which found a respite with the expulsion of the Flamengo center-back Léo Pereira, for an attack on the face of Fernando León in the 89th minute, although the result did not move any more.
The dream of a new final – the last one was in 2019, when he was proclaimed champion – is closer for the Flamenguista tide.