Late Pepe goal earns Gremio draw with Flamengo in Copa semis

Late Pepe goal earns Gremio draw with Flamengo in Copa semis

Agency News

Porto Alegre, Brazil, Oct 3 : Gremio forward Pepe came off the bench to strike late and earn his team a 1-1 home draw with Flamengo in the first leg of their all-Brazilian Copa Libertadores semi-final on Wednesday.

Pepe replaced Alisson in the 82nd minute and the 22-year-old was on the scoresheet six minutes later, firing in from close range after an Everton Cebolinha cross. Flamengo took the lead in the 69th minute when Giorgian de Arrascaeta's cross from the right found Bruno Henrique unmarked in the box. The Brazil international forward left goalkeeper Paulo Victor with no chance by smashing in a downward header at the far post.

Earlier, Flamengo midfielder Everton Ribeiro had a goal ruled out by the video assistant referee for a foul by Gabriel Barbosa on central defender Walter Kannemann. Flamengo are aiming for their second Copa Libertadores title and first since 1981 while 2017 champions Gremio are vying to win South America's top club competition for a fourth time.

The second leg will be played at Flamengo's Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro on October 23. The winner on aggregate will meet either Boca Juniors or River Plate in the final in Santiago, Chile, on November 23. (UNI-XINHUA)