Goiás 1-1 Palmeiras
For those who thought it would be easy, the answer is there, lit up in neon for anyone to see. The hard, steep climb prevails. And it will take some time still before Scolari has all pieces in his hand and finds the correct formula.
Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Goiás, in Goiânia, clearly showed that Palmeiras should not only forget any aspirations towards winning this year’s title, but also seriously question the team’s capacity to finish in the top four. More realistically would perhaps be to ensure not dropping to the 2nd division, while focusing on winning the South America Cup – today the shortest path to participation in next year’s Libertadores.
The Sunday game got off to a good start, Ewerthon striking the ball hard and precise from a distance, driving it low into the left corner of the opponent’s goal. Unfortunately, the first goal did not open up the gates for more. Palmeiras clearly lacked creativity in the midfield, Lincoln not playing because of injury and replaced by youngster Patrik. Palmeiras came with Deola; Vitor (Marcos Assunção), Danilo, Maurício Ramos and Armero; Pierre, Edinho, Márcio Araújo and Patrik; Kleber (Tinga) and Ewerthon (Luan). Felipão tried to innovate with Marcio Araujo falling to the right and Tinga high up in the midfield, but to little effect: Palmeiras remained relatively harmless. And so did Goiás, who only on a few occasions put Deola to the test, but nevertheless on these few occasions made him prove his position as Marcos’ replacement.
During most of the second half, Palmeiras seemed eager to let the clock tick, happy with 1-0 and its first three points under Scolari’s command. By falling back and not aspiring much else, Goiás draw closer and closer and at the very end of the game got lucky: one of the numerous crosses saw several players jump to meet the ball; Marcos Assunção timed it best and worse, as it was his forehead that struck the ball and sent it into Palmeiras’ own goal. 1-1 with just seconds left of the game, and soon enough the referee blew his whistle.
Palmeiras finishes the 13th round at position 13 with a total of 16 points. Click the thumbnail for a complete table and next round’s games.
On Wednesday, Palmeiras travels to Salvador to play Vitória in the first leg of the South America Cup. Then, on Sunday, the visitor Atlético-PR is the opponent in a game where Palmeiras is without Kleber and Armero, both booked with their third yellow card in yesterday’s game.