A little bright, but with a lot of disposition, Grêmio became the first finalist of the 2017 World Club Championship on Tuesday by beating Pachuca 1-0 in extra time at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain, in the United Arab Emirates.
The game was a few chances of goals on both sides. In the best attempt of the Brazilian team in 90 minutes, Luan shot low, the goalkeeper flattened, and the ball still hit the crossbar. In the final moments, the ‘Tuzos’ could have become the first team of CONCACAF in the tournament decision, but Guzman’s header moved close to the crossbar.
In overtime, young star Everton shone – and coach Renato Gaucho, who bet on the boy. The 21-year-old midfielder fired from the left, cut to the middle and finalized with force to score the goal of the classification.
It was the third time in three World Cup appearances that Grêmio played 120-minute games. The title of the Intercontinental Cup of 1983 was obtained in extra time against Hamburg, with two goals from Renato. In 1995, the Porto Alegre team lost to Ajax on penalties.
In the final, which will be held next Saturday in Abu Dhabi, Grêmio will play against Real Madrid, the current champion, or Al Jazira, winner of the UAE Championship. The two will face each other on Wednesday.
The only triumph of the Rio Tricolor against the Copa Libertadores final just under two weeks ago was Arthur, who suffered a left ankle injury during a 2-1 victory over Lanús, who secured the title.
In Pachuca, the best-known names were Japanese midfielder Keisuke Honda, former Barcelona, and goalkeeper Óscar Pérez, 44, who was considered low for someone in the position. According to the Mexican club, he measures 1’74.
Grêmio had the most from the start but the first danger was the Mexican team. With seven minutes left, Honda took the space in the middle, he fired from distance and sent close to the left beam.
The Immortal also responded with a long-range kick, at 16, in charge of Edilson’s absence. The ball took effect and took ink from the crossbar. A minute later, in Perez’s error in goal, Luan collected and risked, but eventually hit Fernandinho.
The game became nervous over time, and the three-time champion of the Libertadores made many mistakes, while Pachuca exchanged passes, but without so much objectivity. At 29, Luan released Ramiro, who did not take well and facilitated the work of Perez.
With difficulty in creating, the Gaucho team only bothered in the still ball. On 40 minutes, Fernandinho charged foul near the left beak of the area and filled his foot, but covered the crossbar.
The Grêmio returned badly of the interval, retreated and attacking with fewer and fewer players. At ten minutes, Jailson left playing bad, Urretaviscaya took advantage and hit put, looking at the corner. Grohe had to stretch himself to defend.
Then, at 11, the winner of the Libertores gave another sign of nervousness. Luan made the shower in another foul, and Michel and Jael, who had entered a little earlier, were put together for the ball, which was out. The two players Gremistas were arguing after the bid.
Tricolor’s main name and discreet until then, Luan gave the air of grace to 14. The shirt 7 – same number of Renato Gaucho in the title of the Intercontinental Cup in 1983 – set to the right foot and kicked away. Perez flew in the corner, deflected and still saw the ball slip on the beam before leaving.
Over time, Grêmio was regaining control of the stock, but the odds were not plentiful. With 19 minutes, Edílson lifted and Jael headed to the right of the target.
At 29, again in charge of foul, edílson deceived enough people, including Renato Gaucho, who celebrated in vain. The side kicked in and hit the net, but from the outside. Then, at 31, Everton received the area but tried an extra cut, and the kick was blocked.
After some time being stifled, the Pachuca almost swung the net to 34. Urretaviscaya got the leftovers on the right, avoided the ball and sent to the area. Guzman anticipated on the first crossbar and headed just inches from the target.
Luan could have killed the match in the normal time but missed an incredible opportunity in the small area at 42. After a corner from the left, Jael turned around and found the attacking partner, who tried to dominate and ended up giving a gift to the goalkeeper.
In extra time, Grêmio was willing to decide, while Pachuca started “cooking.” The Brazilian team was rewarded for the effort in the six minutes of the first half, when Cortez made the throw, Everton won first in the force, second in the skill and finalized with force to the top, surpassing Pérez and making 1 to 0.
The offensive Tricolor, who thrilled during the Libertadores, seemed to have been saved for the overtime, dominated by the team – which also showed better fitness. At 13, Luan received from Everton and opened for Léo Moura, who crossed underneath. Jael stretched out but did not catch up.
In the second stage, at four minutes, the ‘Tozos’ was with one man less. Still, the Mexican team went up, at the same time it was exposed to counterattacks. At seven, Luan accelerated from the right and knocked very close to the beam.
Renato called another defender, Rafael Thyere, and Gremio fell back in the final moments. Pachuca grew, but pressed in the base of the abafa, only with launches, and ran into a well-placed defense, which guaranteed a Brazilian team in the World Cup final for the first time in five years since the Corinthians title.
Grêmio: Marcelo Grohe; Edílson (Léo Moura), Pedro Geromel, Kannemann and Cortez; Jailson, Michel (Everton) and Ramiro; Luan, Fernandinho (Rafael Thyere) and Barrios (Jael). Technical: Renato Gaúcho.
Pachuca: Pérez; Martínez, González, Murillo and García (Sagal); Hernández, Aguirre (Sánchez), Guzmán and Honda; Urretaviscaya (Cano) and Jara (Herrera). Coach: Diego Alonso.
Referee: Felix Brych (Germany), aided by compatriots Mark Borsch and Stefan Lupp.
Yellow cards: Kannemann, Ramiro and Jael (Grêmio); Guzmán, García and Hernández (Pachuca).
Red card: Guzmán (Pachuca).
Goal by Everton (Gremio).
Stadium: Hazza Bin Zayed, in Al Ain (United Arab Emirates).