Vitória 2-0 Palmeiras
Palmeiras’ opening game in the South America Cup saw the debut of midfielder Rivaldo and also marked centre back Danilo’s game #100 in the green jersey. The complete team: Deola; Vítor, Danilo, Maurício Ramos and Armero (Luan); Edinho, Pierre, Márcio Araújo (Tinga) and Rivaldo; Tadeu (Max) and Ewerthon. Unfortunately, little room for commemoration. Palmeiras, without playmaker Lincoln (injured) and attacker Kleber, offered little resistance to Vitória, who in Ramon has a deadly free kick specialist. Ramon was offered both one and two chances, before he in the very beginning of the second half drew the ball hard into the net.
1-0 would not have been that a bad result, but Palmeiras’ inability to clear the ball efficiently, and in particular the crosses, proved fatal. With five minutes left of the game, Vitória scored the second goal in what looked suspiciously like an own goal by Max, defining the end result.
The second leg takes place next Thursday. Palmeiras will have to win by two goals to take the decision to penalty shootouts, but only in case Vitória does not score a single goal. If they do, Palmeiras will need to score four. Things are indeed looking grim.