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Cicero gives Gremio edge in Copa Libertadores final
Last Updated: 2017-11-23 15:20 | Xinhua
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A late Cicero strike handed Brazilian club Gremio a 1-0 home victory over Argentina's Lanus in the first leg of the Copa Libertadores final on Wednesday.

The result means that Gremio need only a draw in the return leg in greater Buenos Aires next Wednesday to secure South America's top club title for a third time.

The hosts had their goalkeeper Marcelo Grohe to thank for denying Lanus a crucial away goal with two superb first-half saves at Gremio Arena.

First he palmed away a fizzing long-range effort from Roman Martinez while at full stretch and then he showed feline agility by keeping out a bullet Diego Braghieri header.

After creating most of the first-half scoring chances, the Argentine outfit were more content to sit back and defend after the break.

Bruno Cortez sent Lanus hearts fluttering with a 30-yard drive that flew just over the bar before Gremio finally broke the visitors' resistance seven minutes from time.

A Jael header from a floating Edilson cross fell into the path of Cicero, who made just enough contact with his left boot to beat goalkeeper Esteban Andrada at his near post.

Gremio are bidding for their first Copa Libertadores title since 1995 while Lanus are making their first appearance in the final.

The winners will book a place at next month's FIFA Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

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