Grêmio Wins Copa Libertadores, Sparking Massive Celebrations Back Home In Brazil

Grêmio scored two fantastic goals on the break to beat Lanús 3-1 on aggregate.

Grêmio claimed its third Copa Libertadores title with a 2-1 victory (3-1 aggregate) over Lanús on Wednesday. The Gremio Copa Libertadores victory sparked a wild celebration back home as the Brazilian club rounded out the field for the FIFA Club World Cup, which begins next week.

Fernandinho and Luan both scored in the first half for Grêmio, which held on despite a red card to Ramiro in the 83rd minute. 

Gremio Copa Libertadores

Fans celebrate the Gremio Copa Libertadores victory in Porto Alegre. Photo: @TheSunFootball | Twitter

Grêmio, which won the first leg 1-0 last week at home, twice hit Lanús on the break as the home side pushed for a goal. Grêmio previously won the 1983 and 1995 Copa Libertadores titles and current coach Renato Potaluppi was a member of the 1983 squad. Grêmio is the first Brazilian club to win the tournament since Corinthians in 2012. 

Fernandinho put Grêmio up 2-0 on aggregate in the 27th minute when he stole the ball near midfield and dribbled into the Lanús box and fired past goalie Esteban Andrada.

Luan effectively put the match out of reach with a fantastic solo effort, dribbling around three defenders before chipping the goalkeeper three minutes before halftime.

Lanús scored a consolation goal when Jose Sand slotted home a penalty kick after Jailson took down Lautaro Acosta in the box, denying Acosta a probable goal. But it wasn’t enough to pull the Argentine side back into the match.

Fans went crazy back in Brazil for the Gremio Copa Libertadores victory. A parade in Porto Alegre saw thousands of fans show up for the club’s first Copa Libertadores title in 22 years. 

The huge celebrations weren’t too much of a surprise given the way fans sent off the team bus on Monday. 

The Gremio Copa Libertadores victory will qualify the Brazilian club for the FIFA Club World Cup and could help them reach the Super Club World Cup, should it become a thing in 2021.

The FIFA Club World Cup will begin on Dec. 6 with a play-in match between Auckland City Football Club from Oceania and Al Jazira Club. Al Jazira qualified as the champion of the Pro-League in UAE, which is hosting the tournament. 

Pachuca from Mexico, which won the CONCACAF Champions League, will play Wydad Casablanca of Morocco, which won the CAF Champions League, on Dec. 9, with the winner facing Grêmio in the semifinals on Dec. 12. On the other side of the bracket, Urawa Red Diamonds of Japan, which won the AFC Champions League, will play the winner of Al Jazira and Auckland City, also on Dec. 9. The winner of that match gets to lose to Real Madrid on Dec. 13. 

The final and third-place matches will be played on Dec. 16 in Abu Dhabi. 

European clubs have won the last four Club World Cups, including three winners from Spain (Real Madrid twice, Barcelona once). No club outside of Europe and South America has won a Club World Cup, although South Americans have won the competition once since 2007 (Corinthians over Chelsea in 2012). 

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