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Fluminense Achieves First Copa Libertadores Triumph, Defeating Boca Juniors

Fluminense defeats Boca Juniors 2-1 in extra time to win their first Copa Libertadores crown, thanks to John Kennedy's thunderous goal.

In a thrilling and intense match at Rio's Maracanã Stadium, Fluminense secured their first-ever Copa Libertadores crown with a 2-1 victory over Boca Juniors. The decisive moment came in extra time when substitute John Kennedy scored a spectacular volley from the edge of the area in the 99th minute. However, his over-exuberant celebration led to a second yellow card and subsequent sending off. Kennedy, named after the 35th President of the United States, had a significant impact on the game after coming on as a substitute for Ganso. Prior to his goal, Boca Juniors had equalized with a 72nd-minute strike from Luis Advíncula, canceling out Fluminense's opener from Germán Cano in the 36th minute.

Kennedy's thunderous right-footed volley, set up by Keno, found the back of the net and gave Fluminense the lead in the first half of extra time. The match was not without controversy, as tempers flared near the end of the first half of extra time, resulting in a multi-player melee after Boca's unsuccessful appeals for a penalty. Frank Fabra of Boca was shown a red card after a VAR review revealed him aiming a slap at Fluminense defender Nino. Both teams were reduced to 10 men, and Fluminense had a chance to seal victory but Guga's effort hit the post and rolled across the goal.

Fluminense, who have won the Brazilian league title four times, had never previously won the Copa Libertadores. Their triumph in this final marks the fifth consecutive victory for Brazilian clubs in the tournament since the introduction of single-match format finals in 2019. The game went to extra time after a tightly contested 90 minutes that ended 1-1. Fluminense took the lead with a well-worked goal from Cano, assisted by Keno. Boca struggled to create chances in the first half but found an equalizer through Advíncula's fantastic strike in the second half.

Fluminense's cautious approach in the second half allowed Boca to gain momentum, but Kennedy's introduction turned the tide in favor of the Rio club. His thunderbolt of a goal secured Fluminense's historic victory and ended Boca's hopes of securing their seventh Copa Libertadores crown. The match was filled with drama and excitement, showcasing the intense nature of South American football. Fluminense's triumph is a testament to their determination and the talent of their young players.

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