RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazil’s Flamengo outclassed compatriots Gremio 5-0 on Wednesday and will play the Copa Libertadores final against defending champions River Plate of Argentina.
The Rio de Janeiro side opened the scoring at the Maracana Stadium with Bruno Henrique in the 42nd minute.
But the best entertainment for more than 70,000 home fans came in the second half.
Gabriel Barbosa scored in the 46th and 56th minutes. Spaniard Pablo Mari added the fourth in the 67th minute and Rodrigo Caio finished the scoring in the 70th.
The first leg ended 1-1 in Porto Alegre earlier in October.
The result at the Maracana was three-time winner Gremio’s worst result in its history in the tournament.
Flamengo seeks its second title in the tournament. The first came in 1981 with Zico as the team’s main player.
The Brazilians will face River at Santiago’s Estadio Nacional on Nov. 23 in the first single-match final of the South American tournament.
Striker Bruno Henrique said Portuguese coach Jorge Jesus had to be praised for taking Flamengo to the Copa Libertadores final for the first time in 38 years.
“Jesus gave us the pleasure to play soccer again, he deserves all the credit for us being here,” Henrique said.
Flamengo was nearly eliminated in the round-of-16 by Ecuador’s Emelec and had to advance on penalties after a 2-0 win at home.
River advanced after losing 1-0 to archrivals Boca at La Bombonera stadium. It had won the first leg 2-0 at home.
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