Pepê's late goal cancels out Bruno Henrique's effort as Grêmio and Flamengo draw in Porto Alegre

Things are even after the first leg of the Libertadores semifinal in Porto Alegre between Grêmio and Flamengo. A 1-1 draw between the two means a spot in the final will be decided back in Rio de Janeiro.

Flamengo took the initiative first and held the possession of the ball, but failed to accurately break down Grêmio's defense despite some promising moments of play

With just on 20 minutes played, Everton RIbeiro collected a miscalculation by Paulo Victor and sent it straight to the back of the net, only for VAR to intervine and rule a foul by Gabriel Barbosa in the build-up. Two minutes later, Gabriel Barbosa scored, only for VAR to uphold the call on the pitch of offside. 

The score sat at 0-0 at half time, with Flamengo’s high positioning on the pitch suffocating nearly every attempt by the home team to build something that could threaten them. 

Grêmio finally found their footing nearly mid-way through the second half, forcing Diego Alves into two amazing saves in quick succession.

Quickly thereafter, Bruno Henrique connected on a header that smashed off the post to beat Paulo Victor and put Flamengo in front. Just a few minutes later, Gabigol once again looked to have scored for Flamengo, only for VAR to once again uphold the call on the pitch of offside. 

Just when it looked as though Flamengo would leave Porto Alegre 1-0 winners, a brilliant counter-attack for Grêmio ended with Pepê, who had just come off the bench, smashing home an Éverton cross to equalize 1-1. 

Three weeks from now back in Rio de Janeiro, the Brazilian teams will square off again to determine who will advance to the CONMEBOL Libertadores final in Santiago. 

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