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Fluminense beats Inter and is in the Libertadores 2023 final


Fluminense, the team of warriors, didn’t give up, overcame adversity, and achieved a lightning-fast comeback against Inter in the final minutes.

Up to this point, the Tricolor has matched the feat of 2008 when they reached the final of the Libertadores for the first time. This time, they are trying to change history and secure the unprecedented title, facing Palmeiras or Boca Juniors.

After the electrifying 2-2 draw at the Maracanã, the showdown would be decided at the Beira-Rio, with the majority of Inter fans in attendance.


Photo: Mauro Pimentel / AFP

Internacional 1×2 Fluminense

Facing their supporters in a packed Beira-Rio stadium, Inter took control of the game from the start, pressing high, forcing mistakes in the opponent’s build-up, and not allowing the adversary to breathe, in Chacho Coudet’s characteristic style.

At the 8th minute, Alan Patrick played a pass to Wanderson on the left, who took on Guga, shot low, and Fábio pushed it out for a corner.

On the corner kick, Alan Patrick aimed at Mercado at the far post. Along the way, goalkeeper Fábio collided with Nino and went down, so Mercado was fortunate to win the duel with Guga and headed the ball into the back of the net, sending the Inter fans into a frenzy.

Inter continued to press. In the 14th minute, Alan Patrick passed to Wanderson, who initiated a counter-attack and sent a pass to Maurício between Marcelo and Felipe Melo. The number 27 could have passed to Enner Valencia, but he dribbled at the entrance of the box and shot across goal, with Fábio making the save.

At the 21st minute, Inter won the ball in midfield and quickly set up a counter-attack. Alan Patrick carried it to the edge of the area and attempted a left-footed shot but sent it wide of the goal.

At the 41st minute, Fluminense had its first dangerous opportunity. Guga launched Cano, who dribbled past the defender and had a shot blocked; the ball hit the post, and on the rebound, Keno headed it amidst the marking. However, after the play, the linesman flagged for offside, which had indeed occurred.

After an excellent first half in which Colorado created chances and faced no risks, the team remained unchanged for the second half, while Diniz made substitutions, bringing in John Kennedy and Martinelli for Alexander and Felipe Melo.

At the 22nd minute, Enner Valencia received a pass just before the midfield, turned past André, and, with great speed, reached the area, but Nino made a crucial interception and regained possession.

At the 25th minute, Valencia missed an unbelievable chance. Alan Patrick delivered a perfect free-kick, almost in the small box, right onto the head of the Ecuadorian. The forward was unmarked, but when attempting the header, he sent it wide.

At the 32nd minute, the Ecuadorian, who was the best player for his country in the 2022 World Cup, missed another opportunity. Inter regained possession in midfield, and Carlos De Pena provided a beautiful pass to the striker, who found himself one-on-one with Fábio but missed the target by a wide margin.

At the 35th minute, the Tricolor started their comeback. Keno passed to Marcelo, who left the ball to reach Cano. The top scorer accelerated and passed to John Kennedy, who, facing Rochet, showed great composure and chipped the ball. Renê managed to touch the ball but couldn’t prevent it from crossing the line.


Photo: Marcelo Gonçalves – FFC

Just 6 minutes later, Flu managed to turn the tide. Yony González was launched on the right and played a pass to John Kennedy in the box. The forward deftly flicked the ball with his heel, setting it up for Cano, who struck it across the goal to beat Rochet and send the Tricolor fans at the Beira-Rio into a frenzy.

Cano, the top scorer of the Libertadores, reached his 12th goal in the competition, tying with Fred as the all-time leading goal scorer for Fluminense in the continental tournament with 15 goals.


Photo: Marcelo Gonçalves – FFC

In desperation, Inter piled balls into the box, and in one of these opportunities, Fábio shone. At the 46th minute, De Pena delivered a corner, Luiz Adriano rose high, headed the ball, and Fábio stretched to the limit to make the save.

In the last minute of the match, with Inter having all their players in attack, John Kennedy received the ball alone in midfield, advanced into the box, and attempted to dribble the goalkeeper. However, Rochet, with great agility, made a crucial touch on the ball to avert the danger. Right after that, the referee blew the final whistle.

For Inter, a bitter taste of elimination remains because in both confrontations, the team created the best opportunities and controlled a significant portion of the games. Meanwhile, Fluminense never gave up and achieved an epic comeback in just 6 minutes. Now, they are rewarded with a spot in the Libertadores final for the second time in their history, aiming to change the narrative of their runner-up finish in 2008 against LDU.

The Tricolor awaits the showdown between Boca Juniors and Palmeiras to determine their opponent at the Maracanã on November 4th.


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Written by Henry Miller.

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Tags: Libertadores

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