Palmeiras did not grab the opportunity to finish the week in the top five, thus remaining in 9th position after Sunday’s 0-0 draw against Botafogo at the Engenhão stadium in Rio de Janeiro. The one point proved not being such a bad result, as Botafogo clearly had more chances – especially in the first half – and on numerous occasions failed to capitalise on clear opportunities (including a penalty). Watch the highlights below.
Against Botafogo, Valdivia received his third yellow card (after an argument with the referee) and will not be an option for the game against Ceará this coming Sunday. Neither will Kléber, sent off after an elbow to a Botofogo player in the final minutes. There’s little doubt in my mind that Valdivia actually sought the card in order to guarantee his participation in the derby against Corinthians on the 24th. In regard to Kléber, I’m not so sure. The elbow seemed more of an accident (although these “accidents” happen a lot to Kléber due to his extremely physical playing style) and he looked sincerely surprised for being sent off. After the game, coach Scolari went out in defence of Kléber.
Shortly after the clash with Bota, the team got on a plane heading for Bolivia, where Thursday’s opponent Universitario de Sucre awaits for the first game in the round of 16 of the South America Cup. Palmeiras spent the night in Santa Cruz de la Sierra before continuing toward the final destination, reaching Sucre today just before lunch. A first training session is scheduled for this very afternoon.
On Tuesday, the delegation will perform two more training sessions. The large amount of training in Sucre serves to prepare the players for the effects of high altitude, as the Bolivian city is located some 2,800 meters above sea level.
On Wednesday, at the eve of the match, players will visit the pitch. The match itself is scheduled for 21:15 (GMT-3) on Thursday and the second leg will take place on 20 October at the Barueri Arena, at 22:00.
Below, find the complete tables for the group of 16.