Brazil-based Liverpool midfielder Roberto Firmino came to the aid of the Reds and scored a tie-breaker against Mexico’s Monterrey in the final minutes of the match, to reach in the finals of the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar.
The second semi-final of the tournament between Liverpool and Monterrey had been gripping from the beginning and became more intense when both the teams were standing at 1-1 within the starting 15 minutes of the game.
However, after the first fifteen minutes, Jurgen Klopp’s side had tried everything to break the deadlock and get the better of Mexico based football club.
In an attempt to move past, Klopp introduced the benched Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Trent Alexander-Arnold in the playing XI but nothing seemed to work for The Reds until Klopp introduced Firmino in the 85th minute of the match.
Soon Roberto Firmino proved the decision to be decisive, when he scored the second goal for Liverpool to break the deadlock in the 90+1 minutes of the game with an assist from Alexander-Arnold.
Firmino flicked in the low cross from Alexander-Arnold from near the goal post to set up the final with Brazil’s Flamengo on Saturday, December 21.
Speaking about the exhilarating win in the eleventh hour of the match, Liverpool’s boss Klopp said, “They fought really hard, we had problems before the game and during the game as well but I think the boys did exceptionally well.”
Speaking about the final with the Copa Libertadores champions Flamengo, Klopp said, “It will be more difficult for sure. I don’t know who exactly will be ready for the next game. I saw the Monterrey bench and it looked like it had 10 to 15 players on it. Flamengo’s season is over and they are here with a full squad. We just have to recover as quickly as possible.”
Unlike most of the players who give up by the end of the tournament, Roberto Firmino is known for hitting until the final whistle to ensure victory. Earlier, during the Premier League tournament in late November, Firmino scored a late minute goal to score a win against Crystal Palace.
Speaking about the journey till the semi-finals of the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup event and the unfortunate loss in the last minutes of the game, Monterrey’s Coach Antonio Mohamed said, “We deserved a positive result, we honoured Mexican football. We were competing to win but we lost concentration in the final minutes and conceded.”
“I am proud of the way we honoured our town and country – we lost with honour and dignity and looking forward to the Mexican league,” he added.