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Palmeiras fans gather to celebrate dramatic Copa Libertadores win despite the pandemic

Palmeiras fans ignored social distancing rules and gathered in large groups to celebrate the Brazilian team’s dramatic victory in the Copa Libertadores on Saturday.

Only 5,000 invited guests were permitted into Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Maracana stadium to watch the match but that didn’t stop supporters from partying into the night back in the team’s home city of Sao Paulo.

Despite lockdown measures, pictures show supporters, many without a mask, hugging and dancing in the streets after substitute Breno Lopes scored a dramatic stoppage-time header to secure a 1-0 win over Santos.

Fireworks were set off as the team returned home in the early hours of Sunday.

There have so far been 9,176,975 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Brazil with 223,945 virus-related deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The country has the second-highest death toll in the world.

READ: ‘No hugs’ in future as Premier League grapples with Covid-19 spike

Famous win

There had been an increased police presence around the Maracana with authorities worried fans would gather outside for what has always been a passionate fixture.

The game itself only sprung into life during the closing stages with Santos seeing its manager, Cuca, sent off moments before Lopes’ 99th-minute header sealed a famous victory for Palmeiras.

The goal sparked delirious scenes with players running over to celebrate with those supporters allowed into the stadium.

Palmeiras had not won the Copa Libertadores since 1999 and now qualifies for the Club World Cup in Qatar later this month, where it could face European champion Bayern Munich.

On social media, the club dedicated its victory “to all families who have lost a loved one and those who are still in the battle against Covid-19.

“We express solidarity and condolences,” it said.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Sports

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