Golazo: Joãozinho, CRUZEIRO vs River Plate, Copa Libertadores final 1976

The 1976 Copa Libertadores final was played between River Plate of Argentina, hoping to win their first Copa Libertadores and Cruzeiro of Brazil hoping to become the first Brazilian team to win the Libertadores since Santos way back in 1963.

Cruzeiro won the first leg 4-1 and River Plate won the second leg 2-1 necessitating a playoff game in the neutral venue of Estadio Nacional in the Chilean capital Santiago.

With the score tied at 2-2 on 88 minutes and extra time looming Cruzeiro striker Joãozinho lined up a free kick and arced it over the wall into the top left corner of the River Plate goal instigating delirious celebrations from the Cruzeiro players and a mass brawl involving several of the River Plate players.


After failing to win in the 1966 and 1976 Copa Libertadores finals, River Plate won the title in 1986 and 1996 both times beating the Jimmy Whites of South American club football, Colombian side América de Cali (who lost all 4 of their Copa Libertadores finals to date 1985, 1986, 1987, 1996).

Cruzeiro failed to retain their title, losing the 1977 final to Boca Juniors (fierce rivals of River Plate), they won their second Libertadores in 1997 against Peruvian team Sporting Cristal and reached the final for a fourth time in 2009 where they lost to Estudiantes de La Plata of Argentina.

Part of the Golazo series.

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