Diniz highlights Fluminense’s courage in winning the Recopa – 03/01/2024 – Sports

Diniz highlights Fluminense’s courage in winning the Recopa – 03/01/2024 – Sports


Fluminense won its first Recopa Sul-Americana by beating LDU, its thorn in the side, 2-0, this Thursday (29), at Maracanã, in Rio de Janeiro. After the game, coach Fernando Diniz highlighted the team’s courage in the finals.

“It’s a very deserved victory for a team that always had the courage to play, both here and there”, celebrated the coach.

After losing 1-0 in Ecuador last week in the first game, Tricolor managed to turn things around at the end with two goals from Colombian striker Jhon Arias in the second leg of this duel, which pits the champions of the two main tournaments face to face. clubs in South America.

“Happy for the goal, happy to contribute to winning this title and now to enjoy it because it’s a title that includes everything we did last year. It’s the conclusion of winning the Copa Libertadores” in 2023, said the Colombian.

2023 Libertadores Champion, Diniz took revenge on his rival, winner of the last Copa Sudamericana, who years ago deprived the Rio team of winning their first international trophies.

Tricolor achieved this feat in the final stretch and with one man less, after the expulsion of striker John Kennedy, scorer of the Libertadores title goal against Boca Juniors, for stepping on midfielder Óscar Zambrano’s leg.

Ecuador’s “Rey de Copas”, led by Spaniard Josep Alcácer, who was unable to direct the team from the sidelines due to a problem with the approval of his coaching license, defeated Fluminense in the 2008 Libertadores and Sudamericana finals 2009.

“It was a difficult game, it’s a great opponent, one of the best clubs in South America (…) with a high-level squad,” said Alcácer at the press conference.

Fluminense presses

Although this time they faced less danger, in the first half the Ecuadorians knew how to bother Fluminense, who proved to be very predictable: ball possession of up to 80% and constant changes of position of their players, but without this possession or territorial dominance being able to be transformed into a constant threat to Alexander Domínguez’s goal.

The experienced goalkeeper was troubled on four occasions, but responded well on all of them, especially on the most dangerous one: a move in which he came face to face with Martinelli, in the 11th minute, which the midfielder shot at the goalkeeper’s body.

Aiming to maintain the advantage gained at the altitude of Quito, a bet reinforced by the lineup of three midfielders to the detriment of the speedy Jhojan Julio, LDU looked for a counterattack, taking advantage of Luis Estupiñán’s speed over the opponent on the left wing, defended by Felipe Melo and Diogo Barbosa, Marcelo’s replacement, spared to enter the second half.

His sprints worried the fans who filled the stadium (61,217 spectators) and who suffered from the vulnerability of the defense, an evil that overshadowed Diniz’s offensive scheme.

Between Felipe Melo’s constant mistakes and the need to balance the confrontation, the former coach of the Brazilian national team intervened early: he placed John Kennedy, absent in the first game due to suspension and scorer of the title goal against Boca, in place of the experienced defender.

The promising striker woke up his teammates, who were more incisive when faced with Domínguez’s goal. They gained even more space with the entry of three experienced men with an offensive profile: Douglas Costa, Marcelo and Renato Augusto.

The movements were rewarded through a weapon that they sometimes seemed to abuse: crossings. Samuel Xavier raised a ball from the right and Arias entered alone and headed it into the back of the net.

The joy, however, gave way to tension, because Fluminense lost a player in the final stretch: John Kennedy. But, despite the numerical inferiority, the Rio team continued to surround the opponent’s area until finding the goal.

After a pass from Douglas Costa, Renato Augusto entered the area. Midfielder Jefferson Valverde knocked the player down and the referee awarded a penalty.

Arias, with coolness and little distance, took it high and hard, to the right of Domínguez, who guessed the corner, but could do nothing in the face of a charge with triple value: goal, title and revenge.


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