Palmeiras face fellow Brazilian side Santos in the Copa Libertadores final on Saturday night (20:00 kick-off GMT).
The game, which is only the third time two Brazilian sides have faced each other in a Copa Libertadores final, will take place at the Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro. Santos have lifted South America’s equivalent of the Champions League on three occasions while Palmeiras have won the trophy once.
This weekend’s victors will secure a place at next month’s Fifa Club World Cup, which is scheduled to take place in Qatar.
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2020 Copa Libertadores: Route to the final
The all-Brazilian final could just have easily have been an all-Argentinian final, and the small matter of a Superclasico, before Palmeiras and Santos had their say.
But before we even got to those moments, both sides had get through the group stages, and they did with relative ease in similar fashion, winning five and drawing one of their six matches. For Palmeiras, it saw them top Group B ahead of Guarani (Paraguay), Bolivar (Bolivia) and Tiger (Argentina), while Santos also finished top of their group, above Delfin (Ecuador), Defensa y Justicia (Argentina) and Olimpia (Paraguay).
Palmeiras were rewarded for their strong group standing with a last-16 tie against Delfin, who had accumulated just seven points to earn second in Santos’ group, and blew the Ecuadorian side away 8-1 on aggregate. That set up them up against Paraguayan team Libertad in the quarter-finals, another side that had advanced through the groups with just seven points, winning 4-1 on aggregate this time.
Then came the semi-final, against Argentinian giants River Plate who put up a bigger fight, only losing 3-2 on aggregate having won the second leg 2-0..
While Palmeiras cruised through the last-16, Santos were made to work for their win, only beating Colombian side LDU Quito on away goals after a 2-2 draw on aggregate, losing the second leg. However, their quarter-final victory over fellow Brazilians Gremio was a lot more comfortable, winning 5-2 including a 4-1 second-leg win.
Santos’ most comfortable win came in the semi-finals, against Boca Juniors, beating the Argentine side 3-0 on aggregate to set up the all-Brazilian final.