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The year 2018 has ended with FC Barcelona Lassa continuing their roller hockey dynasty by beating Oporto to add the Intercontinental Cup to a fabulous trophy haul.
At the legendary Aldo Cantoni arena in San Juan, Argentina, the blaugrana won through in front of 7,300 spectators, whose general inclination was to root for a Barça side that featured their compatriots Pablo Álvarez and Matías Pascual.
It’s the fifth time Barça have been proclaimed champions of the world (not including the unofficial World Cup of Clubs played in 1983) and an extraordinary 121st official trophy in the history of the section.
This was only the second time that Barça had played the final in Argentina, and made up for the defeat to UVT back in 1985.
For Egurrola and Panadero this was their fourth Intercontinental title at Barça, while Pascual and Joao Rodrigues were also winning it for the fourth time, after also being triumphant with their former clubs
The game itself was not decided until overtime, and for Pablo Álvarez, playing in his home town, it was a night to remember. It was the third of his hat-trick of goals that finally tipped the scales the Barça way in an enthralling encounter that could have gone either way.
After Panadero had put Barça into an early lead from the penalty spot, Oporto turned things around with two goals in the first quarter of an hour.
That was the first of three occasions when a Gonçalo Alves goal put the Portuguese side ahead, but Barça found a response every time and it was all square at 4-4 when the final seconds had ticked away.
The frenetic pace gave way to extreme caution in overtime, and a tense affair looked to be destined for penalties when at the final gasp the ‘killer of San Juan’, and in San Juan, read a Pau Bargalló assist to perfection and slammed in what will go down as one of the most important goals in club history.
Porto: Carles Grau, Rafa, Nalo García, Hélder Nunes, Gonçalo Alves -cinco inicial- Telmo Pinto, Poka, Giulio Cocco, Hugo Santos.
Barça Lassa: Sergio Fernández, Marc Gual, Pablo Álvarez, Pau Bargalló, Panadero -cinco inicial- Egurrola, Joao, Alabart, Matias Pascual, Nil Roca.
Goals: 0-1, Panadero, de penalti (min 3). 1-1, Nalo García (min 8). 2-1, Gonçalo Alves (min 15). 2-2, Pablo Álvarez (min 19). 3-2, Gonçalo Alves (min 27). 3-3, Pablo Álvarez (min 29). 4-3, Gonçalo Alves (min 33). 4-4, Joao (min 38). 4-5, Pablo Álvarez (min 59).
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