Palmeiras missed out on a good opportunity to approach the leaders, as the top three teams all drew or lost on Sunday. With the upcoming important game against Universitário de Sucre on Wednesday and key players injured or absent, Scolari opted for a cautious approach. The gamble almost paid off: Marcus Assunção (who else?) sent another free kick to the back of the net and Palmeiras then resisted Ceará’s pressure until the final moments, when Marcio Araujo was responsible for one of this year’s silliest penalties, allowing the equaliser. Unfortunate, but a calculated risk.
However, no time for crying over spilled milk, as this week brings two games of outmost importance: the before mentioned second leg against the Bolivians and, on Sunday, the derby against Corinthians. A draw in the first is enough to secure Palmeiras advancing to the quarter finals; a win against Corinthians while Cruzeiro beats Atlético-MG is enough to seriously cripple the skunks’ aspirations to win this year’s title.