Yesterday’s derby against SPFC followed an interesting script. In the end, the 1-1 draw seemed a fair result, considering a game that almost didn’t happen due to absurd amounts of tropical rain (all pictures by Fernando Pilatos/UOL), adding to the high level of tension already present before the ball started rolling, 1 hour 15 minutes after schedule.
São Paulo showed superiority in the first half, making good use of their speedy attackers. The goal – a cannon from the feet of Fernandinho – was more of a fatality than anything else.
There are a lot of diverging opinions about the tactical alterations during the game. Some give Scolari credit for taking booked players Danilo and Marcos Assunção off the pitch. Others believe he should have risked it a bit more, maintaining those players and instead opting for more offensive players as substitutes for the likes of Tinga, who had an extremely bad night. Regardless, Adriano coming on the pitch in the second half changed the scenery within minutes; first he played his part as supporting actor when São Paulo defender Alex Silva lost it and got himself a free red card; later the same Adriano kept popping up like jack-in-the-box in São Paulo’s penalty area before himself scoring the equalizer. The last ten minutes saw Palmeiras putting that extra pressure on, but with little result due to some quite good goalkeeping by Ceni. Watch the highlights below.
The taboo remains: Palmeiras haven’t won at the Morumbi stadium since 2002. But the late equalizer left everyone with a slight sense of victory. And the team played with a lot of heart. Not necessarily did Palmeiras play that well, but the players didn’t surrender, never lowered their heads. The heat was on for the full 90 minutes.
The priority now is to get some rest before Wednesday return game against Comercial/PI. A draw, and Palmeiras is through to the next stage in the Brazilian Cup.