Lanús had performed one miracle in the semi final against River Plate but there was to be no repeat of that famous comeback on Wednesday evening as Grêmio held their nerve to deservedly lift the Copa Libertadores.
Trailing from the first leg in Porto Alegre, just as they had done against River and San Lorenzo in the quarter finals, there was still a belief that Lanús could make history in La Fortaleza.
Grêmio were aiming for their third Libertadores title but for Lanús this was already uncharted territory and El Granate were looking to make history.
The Brazilians have been the outstanding side in this year’s competition since the outset and so Jorge Almirón’s side could ill-afford to allow the visitors to extend their advantage.
Unfortunately that is exactly what happened as El Granate looked a little overawed by the occasion during a sloppy opening 45 minutes.
It was a Lanús free kick that presented Grêmio with their opener after the Brazilians cleared only for José Luis Gómez to carelessly give the ball to Fernandinho, who charged away to smash the ball past Esteban Andrada.
With no away goals rule in the final, Grêmio’s breakthrough wasn’t a critical blow but Luan certainly delivered that minutes before half time. The classy midfielder cut through a disorganised Lanús defence with ease and capped off the run with a deft chipped finish over Andrada.
Injury to Grêmio’s midfield orchestrator Arthur and a need for three goals to force extra-time saw Lanús enjoy more possession after the break and after scoring four against River a modicum of belief was still there but the performance that shocked Los Millonarios wasn’t.
The introduction of Marcelino Moreno gave more of an attacking edge in the final 20 minutes and after Lautaro Acosta was bundled over in the box, José Sand was able to pull one back from the penalty spot but it was to be in vain.
Even after the visitors saw Ramiro sent off in the closing stages, Lanús failed to really stretch the outstanding Marcelo Grohe in goal and so it was heartache for El Granate and elation for Grêmio.