Washington double sinks São Paulo
On Wednesday, 80,000 packed the estádio Maracanã to see Fluminense squeeze their way past São Paulo and book a place in the semi-finals of the Libertadores.
Washington was the name of the game and his second goal right at the death was enough to send Flu into the next phase.
Washington had been going through a lean spell but this was to be a glorious night for the striker whose career was once threatened by a serious heart condition.
Adriano had put away the only goal in the first game in the Morumbi.
But São Paulo’s 1×0 lead from the first leg was wiped clean when Washington struck on the 12th minute.
Soon after, Fluminense’s creative midfielders were again causing havoc and São Paulo struggled to cope with Conca, Thiago Neves, and Cicero.
Renato Gaúcho had also instructed Junior César to move forward and his forages down the left flank were a constant menace.
Conca in particular was proving to be a handful and Flu’s young Argentine almost made it 2×0 when he hit the bar on the 37th minute and the rebound was put wide.
7 minutes into the second-half, Conca came close again putting his shot just wide with a motionless Rogério Ceni well beaten.
But having weathered the storm in the first forty-five, São Paulo began to grow in the second period and had a great chance when Aloisio combined with Adriano only for the substitute blazed over.
Then on the 25th minute mark, the São Paulo pair linked up again and Aloísio’s cross was met by an unmarked Adriano to head home.
However, São Paulo’s joy was short-lived as direct from the kick off, Dodô put Flu back in front after Rogério Ceni let the ball slip under his body.
The aggregate score would still have sent São Paulo through. But a minute into injury time, Washington grabbed his second and Flu were in the semi-finals for the first time in the club’s history.
See the goals here
(update) On Thursday, Santos beat Mexico’s América 1×0 with a goal by Kléber Pereira in the Vila Belmiro. But it wasn’t enough and América went through.
The semi-finals now line up like this:
Boca Juniors vs Fluminense
América vs LDU Quito
Ties to be played 28 May