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Flamengo, Independiente Tied; Pedro Could Return to Europe
Feb 21, 2020, 6:34:00 AM

Flamengo, Independiente Tied; Pedro Could Return to Europe

Ecuador’s Independiente and Brazil’s Flamengo ended the first match of the Recopa Sudamericana in a draw while Flamengo’s Pedro is making waves.

Cristian Pellerano, an Argentinian midfielder, was able to score a penalty late in the game to help Ecuador’s Independiente del Valle draw their match against Brazil’s Flamengo. The match, which was the first leg of the Recopa Sudamericana, ended with a final score of 2-2. The Copa Libertadores and Brazilian Serie A title holders were left baffled and bewildered when Jacob Murillo scored a 30-yard free-kick during the match’s 20th minute.

Flamengo responded with a goal from Bruno Henrique and an assist from Giorgian Arrascaeta. Henrique paid the price as Jorge Pinos tried to tackle him to get the ball. Pinos was also lucky to not be given a red card for his challenge. Pedro, who is on loan from Fiorentina, put Flamengo up 2-1 with five minutes left in the match when he scored his first goal thanks to a cross from Ribeiro.

However, it was too early a celebration. Pellerano was able to score the tieing goal during stoppage time, bringing Independiente back into the game.

Flamengo was able to qualify for the Recopa Sudamericana (which is South America’s version of the European Super Cup) when they won the Copa Libertadores last year. It was also just their second time to win that tournament. Independiente, meanwhile, was able to qualify for the tournament after winning the second-tier Copa Sudamericana - the equivalent of the UEFA Europa League. The second leg of the Recopa Sudamericana will be held on February 26 at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

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In similar news, Flamengo’s loanee, Pedro, has hit the ground running after joining the club last January. He’s got a goal-rate of one per 16.3 minutes and, if he keeps that up, could find himself back in the European scene. He was due to join Real Madrid in 2018 but an injury put an end to that deal. He later moved to Fiorentina in September 2019 for €11 million after he recovered from surgery but once he was there, he still had a difficult time proving himself. He played in just four games before he was loaned to Flamengo, his favourite club growing up.

Since his arrival, he’s scored three goals coming off the bench in a mere 49 minutes. As a basis for comparison, Borussia Dortmund’s striker, Erling Haaland, has scored a goal every 39.9 minutes. His most recent match was the Recopa Sudamericana against Independiente del Valle. In it, Bruno Henrique was forced off with due to an injury. This gave Pedro the opportunity to show his skill.

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Words: Carlos Corpus

Image: PA