Liverpool won their first Club World Cup title after Roberto Firmino scored in extra-time to seal a 1-0 win over Flamengo at Khalifa International Stadium on Saturday.
The European champions prevailed over the South American titleholders to crown a magical year for Liverpool who won their sixth continental title in June.
The Brazilians edged the first half with more possession and more chances although Liverpool arguably had the best opportunity in the very first minute but Firmino fired over.
Liverpool’s Brazilian later rattled the post early in the second half as Juergen Klopp’s side began to dominate.
Flamengo manager Jorge Jesus got his tactics spot on and Liverpool’s rampaging full backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson struggled to overlap.
The one time the former did get round the back, Mohamed Salah could not finish off his cross on 49 minutes.
Gabriel Barbosa then forced Liverpool’s Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson into a smart save before Salah blasted over at the other end.
Liverpool midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, out for over a year after a knee injury in 2018, suffered what looked like a knee or ankle problem midway through the second half. He beat the ground in frustration and was visibly upset. He was replaced by Adam Lallana.
Salah soon had a goal ruled out for offside and Henderson went close with a rasping shot as the English side became increasingly frustrated against a dogged Flamengo defence.
There was drama in stoppage time in normal time when the referee initially gave a penalty for a foul by Rafinha on Liverpool’s Sadio Mane. But the video assistant intervened and it was decided there was no contact on the edge of the area.
Both sides looked jaded at times after a long 2019 – and in the humid conditions of 2022 World Cup host Qatar – with extra time not doing either side any favours.
But Liverpool finally scored on 99 minutes after a quick breakaway, Firmino keeping his cool to slot home and devastate his countrymen.
Flamengo’s Lincoln blazed over with a great chance to level late on.
Liverpool had never previously won the Club World Cup or its forerunner the Intercontinental Cup. They even lost to Rio-based Flamengo in the final in 1981.
In the third-place match, Monterrey’s goalkeeper scored the winning spotkick as the Mexicans prevailed on penalties after a 2-2 draw with Asian champions Al-Hilal.
Luis Cardenas denied Eduardo and Mohamed Kanno in the shoot-out before sealing victory with his own penalty.
Liverpool Crowned as Club World Cup Champions
It was a rematch 38 years in the making, and the Club World Cup final between Liverpool and Flamengo certainly delivered. The back and forth contest went all the way to extra-time, VAR intervened to deny Sadio Mane a second half stoppage time penalty before Roberto Firmino scored on the ninety ninth minute to crown Liverpool world champions.
Jurgen Klopp talked of his sides desire to come away from Doha as world club cup winners and as Firmino hooked a shot over the bar with the contest barely thirty seconds old the intentions of the European Champions where clear.
Flamengo, backed by 15,000 diehard fans roared they team along in the early exchanges and quickly produced their first chance of note as Uruguayan playmaker Giorgian De Arrascaeta pushed a shot over two minutes in.
It was a breathless start from both sides, and Liverpool opened up the Copa Libatadores champions for a second time. Jordan Henderson’s long ball picked up a surging run from Mohamed Salah who held the ball up before passing to Naby Keita, a little more composure from the Guinean and Liverpool could have taken the lead.
Liverpool poured forward again and Trent Alexander-Arnold hit a speculative shot from distance, which had Diego Alves moving quickly to cover his post, flying just wide.
Bruno Henrique skipped around Joe Gomez, yet failed to pick out anyone with the cross. Henrique was starting to fine space on the left, the winger latched onto another long ball and had the better of Trent Alexander-Arnold before his shot rebounded out for a corner.
Liverpool started to dominate possession in the closing stages of the half, without really clicking in attack. It seemed a signal of intent for what was to come. Sadio Mane picked up a yellow for a cynical swipe on Rafinha.
The European Champions started the second half on the front foot Henderson clipped a ball to Firmino, a flick over the defender and a volley into the ground which bounced up and hit the wood work.
Liverpool came close again, Alexander-Arnold snapped in a cross to Mohamed Salah, the deft flick inches wide from the Egyptian. Not to be outdone Gabiriel Barbosa stepped up for Flamengo, a slick passing move concluded with a goal bound shot towards the bottom corner, Alisson pulled off a save to keep the Reds on level terms.
Flamengo found a foothold as the second half progressed, keeping Liverpool at bay and picking their moments to counter through the pace of Henrique. Gabriel Barbosa was at the heart of the action although his acrobatic overhead kick was gathered by Alisson.
Liverpool were forced into a change when Alexander Oxlande-Chamberlain fell awkwardly in challenging for a ball, injuring his ankle. Adam Lallana came on in his place. Surprisingly it was Flamengo who was edging possession and shots on goal heading into the final stages of regular time.
Liverpool skipped forward again, Salah diligently holding the ball up and passing back to Jordan Henderson who saw the effort tipped over by Diego Alves. The drama ramped up in stoppage time after the referee initially awarded a penalty for Rafinha’s challenge on Sadio Mane. After a VAR review, the penalty was overturned and the yellow card was risinded. Flamengo had survived and taken Liverpool to extra-time.
Liverpool ground down Flamengo, and eventually grabbed the all-important goal with ninety nine minutes on the clock. Jordan Henderson launched a ball towards Sadio Mane, who picked out Roberto Firmino who showed all the composure in the world to take a touch and fire the ball into an empty net.
Flamengo tried in vain to find parity as Bruno Henrique saw a dangerous shot come cross deflected into the arms of Alisson. Still, the 15,000 die hard fans roared their side on.
It may have not been vintage from Liverpool but they ground out the result and became world champions. Now the hustle of festive football will begin for Klopp’s side, although he will certainly encouraged by his teams fighting qualities in Doha. Source:
Sheikh Joaan Crowns Winners of FIFA Club World Cup
President of the Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al -Thani, along with FIFA President Gianni Infantino crowned the winners of the16th edition of the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2019 hosted by Doha, concluded this evening with Liverpool win over Brazil’s Flamingo 1-0 in the final.
HE Sheikh Joaan crowned the Liverpool players with gold medals and the championship cup, Flamingo players were crowned with silver medals, while the Mexican Monterrey players won bronze medals after their victory earlier in the day over the Saudi Al Hilal on penalties (4-3) in the third-place match that ended draw 2-2.
HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al-Thani also gave the Golden Ball award to Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah for the best player in the tournament, and the Brazilian player Bruno Henrique was crowned the silver cup for the best player in the tournament, and Saudi Hilal player Carlos Edward won the bronze cup for the best player.
Mohamed Salah also won the sponsoring company cup for the best player.
Bein Sports, QFA, QNA