Liverpool has won the World Cup for clubs for the first time in club history. The English club of international Virgil van Dijk overrun the Brazilian Flamengo in the final in Doha on Saturday: 1-0.
Roberto Firmino was the matchwinner at Liverpool with the only goal in the 99th minute. The Brazilian striker misled Flamengo goalkeeper Diego Alves after an action by Sadio Mané. Flamengo was no longer involved.
It is the first time in club history that Liverpool has captured the world title for clubs. The English, who won the Champions League last season, were already in the final in 2005, but then lost the final battle in Yokohama, Japan, 1-0 to São Paulo, also Brazilian.
Van Dijk, Georginio Wijnaldum, Sepp van den Berg and Ki-Jana Hoever are the first Dutch winners of the World Cup for clubs in six years. Arjen Robben was the last world champion in a club with Bayern Munich in 2013. In this century, Wesley Sneijder (Internazionale, 2010), Edwin van der Sar (Manchester United, 2008) and Clarence Seedorf (AC Milan, 2007) also seized the trophy.
Liverpool succeeds Real Madrid as world champion. The Madrilenians won four of the last editions of the battle for the World Cup and are thus record winners. England comes thanks to Liverpool's victory over two final victories. In 2008, Manchester United already won the world championship for clubs after winning the final match with the Ecuadorian Quito.
Virgil van Dijk had recovered from a flu and was in the base at Liverpool. (Photo: Getty Images)
Liverpool fails to score quickly
Liverpool, with Van Dijk recovering from a flu, and Wijnaldum, Van den Berg and Hoever on the bench, failed to take the lead against Flamengo in the early stages. After less than a minute, Firmino popped up dangerously for the Brazilian club's goal, but he knocked the ball over.
Even after half time Firmino had the 1-0 on the shoe, but up close he hit the inside of the post from a good position. The rain of opportunity then stopped at Liverpool, which saw Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain injured fifteen minutes before the end.
In the second minute of the injury time, Liverpool seemed to get a penalty after a foul on the broken Mané, but referee Abdulrahman Al Jassim reversed his decision after seeing the footage and gave Flamengo a referee's ball.
Roberto Firmino takes off his shirt after his winning goal for Liverpool. (Photo: Pro Shots)
Decision is in extension
In the extension, Jordan Henderson broke through the deadlock with a wearing pass. The midfielder sent Mané nicely away in the 99th minute, which kept the overview and enabled Firmino to score.
Van Dijk had another imposed chance to secure the victory, but the drawn defender found Alves' hands on his way. The victory was almost at risk in the second half of the extension when Gabriel Barbosa Almeida turned up in a promising position, but he aimed in the side net. Lincoln, too, shot up close in the last minute of the extension.
Liverpool can only enjoy the world title for clubs for a few days. The English will play the top in the Premier League on Thursday against Leicester City, the number two in the competition.