Roberto Firmino’s 99th-minute goal was all Liverpool needed to win their first-ever Club World Cup success in their illustrious history.
The Reds won the cup with a 1-0 win over Flamengo in extra-time in Qatar in an engrossing game that was occasionally marred by some questionable officiating from referee Abdulrahman Al Jassim.
Copa Libertadores champions Flamengo were more than a match for their European counterparts throughout the encounter as the Brazilan side gave Liverpool a run for their money. Flamengo held their own in an encounter bookmakers and pundits had already given to the Reds.
But Liverpool held out to avenge their 1981 Intercontinental Cup defeat to the same opponents and earn the right to wear a special Fifa champions badge for the next 12 months.
Jurgen Klopp didn’t come to Qatar to play that was why he brought back his big players into the team in making four changes, with Firmino, Sadio Mane and Trent Alexander-Arnold returning.
Meanwhile, Flamengo coach Jorge Jesus went into the game with the same starting XI that defeated Al-Hilal in the first of the tournament’s semi-final ties.
With less than a minute on the clock, Firmino latched onto a simple lofted ball to shoot over the top, and Naby Keita also missed another sitter after Mohamed Salah had set him up with a pullback.
However, moments after Liverpool’s chances, the Brazilan side went on to dominate possession for the remainder of the half. Their best chance came when Bruno Henrique scampered in behind Alexander-Arnold only for Joe Gomez to get across and block his shot to end the first half.
At the start of the second half, Firmino came close to breaking the deadlock after just two minutes when he powered a volley into the floor only to see it come back off the post. Egyptian forward Salah also came close to scoring when he right-footed the ball into the side of the net from an Alexander-Arnold cutback.
Flamengo also had their moments when their striker Gabriel Barbosa forced a strong save from Alisson Becker.
However, in the 91st minute, Mane skipped away before he was fouled by Flamengo defender Rafinha, prompting the referee to award a penalty.
After the call, a lengthy VAR check that showed the Senegalese had been fouled outside the box and the referee overturned the penalty. He also refused to award a free-kick and rescinded the yellow card given to the defender.
Moments later, a beautiful Jordan Henderson ball allowed Mane to skip away in behind, and the Senegalese waited for Firmino to skip past the keeper before slamming the ball home to win the Club World Cup for Liverpool.