Sao Jose ended Santos’ monopoly of the Women’s Copa Libertadores with a 2-1 victory in a thrilling semi-final last night.
In a fiery Paulista derby awash with Brazil internationals, Erika fired Santos into an early lead, but a Formiga equaliser preceded Francielle’s 85th-minute winner, which booked the Vale Paraíba team a final against Chile’s Colo-Colo.
Santos had dominated the Women’s Copa Libertadores since its 2009 inception, winning both its previous editions with 100 per cent records and, in the process, scoring an exceptional 68 goals to just two conceded, and they took just 90 seconds to go ahead in the Estadio Martins Pereira.
A halfway-line free-kick was floated into the box, and Erika rose highest to flick a looping, backwards header into the net.
Karen almost doubled Santos’ lead minutes later, but her powerful shot came back off the crossbar, while Formiga attempted to restore parity with an overhead-kick. But if the spectacular didn’t work for the Sao Jose No8, the simple did.
Indeed when a high, hanging cross was pumped into the Santos box, Formiga outjumped goalkeeper Andreia and headed home from five yards to make it 1-1.
Both sides had chances thereafter, though Santos had the best of them. However, with full-time approaching, Francielle thundered a 30-yard free-kick past Andreia to give Sao Jose the lead.
Santos tried to find an equaliser but to no avail, and Karen’s sending-off compounded what was a forgettable night for them.
The same Sao Paulo state stadium will now host Sunday’s final between Sao Jose and Colo-Colo, who beat Caracas of Venezuela 4-1 in the other semi-final.