This Wednesday Fluminense drew 2-2 with Inter de Porto Alegre in the first leg of the Copa Libertadores semifinals. It was a tense match between two Brazilian rivals who know each other very well at the legendary Maracaná Stadium, which will also host the final on November 4.
With the support of their people, Fluminense opened the scoring in the first half and after 10 minutes the Argentine Germán Cano received it alone from the left and first touched the ball to put the Rio team ahead. The striker born in Lomas de Zamora was once again decisive and at the end of the match he once again showed his firepower.
Inter led by Eduardo Coudet went for the tie and the game grew in intensity. It was stick and stick with two bold teams. They both had arrivals and the emotions grew as the minutes passed and the strong leg was present.
The friction continued and at 29 minutes Samuel Xavier arrived at the wrong time and hit Enner Valencia on the ankle. The Argentine referee Darío Herrera showed the second yellow card to the Brazilian defender and left his team with ten. With one less, things became complicated for those led by Fernando Diniz Silva.
In the epilogue of the first half, the Spaniard Hugo Mallo won in the area between two rivals and achieved equality with a header. First the goal was invalidated due to an offside position, but after the intervention of the VAR it was possible to corroborate that the Iberian's position was legal and Herrera had to rectify his decision. They went into the break tied 1-1.
At the beginning of the complement, Inter took advantage of the tie and took advantage of their numerical superiority. In the first minutes he could have taken the lead with a goal from Argentine Gabriel Mercado, but the score was annulled because the former River Plate player headed and then touched the ball with his left arm. It was another play in which the VAR had to intervene.
Without physical rest and against a team that knew how to control the ball, Fluminense had to retreat against an Inter that was determined to win. At 64 minutes there was a good combination of passes from the Porto Alegre team that reached the area and Valencia surprised everyone by not hitting it and giving it to Alan Patrick, who first defined cross and made it 2-1 for the Gaucho team.
Although Fluminense did not give up and with a lot of self-esteem tried to get the tie. Cano was once again the main protagonist in the opponent's area and goalkeeper Sergio Rochet collided with the Argentine striker in a play in which both went to look for the ball, but Herrera did not consider that it warranted a penalty.
With 12 minutes remaining, Cano was again important. He got the corner kick from the right and with a half turn he beat his marker to reach his eleventh goal and be the top scorer of the current Libertadores.
Fluminense managed to remain undefeated in 25 home games and achieved equality in a match in which they had a very difficult time as they played 60 minutes with ten.
Next Wednesday at the Beira-Río Stadium in Porto Alegre this key will be defined, which promises another emotional clash. The winner will wait for the winner of the match between Boca Juniors and Palmeiras, who this Thursday will play their first match at La Bombonera, starting at 9:30 p.m.
Source images: CONMEBOL Libertadores.