“Insignificant” is the definition of yesterday’s loss against Ponte Preta (watch goals at the bottom of this post); as of the penultimate round, Palmeiras was already guaranteed a position in the top two – the only thing that matters. In addition, the lineup served as an example of Scolari’s total lack of sentimentalism or vanity; after all, he didn’t give a rat’s ass for maintaining the impressive streak of games without defeated (15), but instead choose to give some rest to key players, preparing them for the very busy weeks to follow.
Mirassol, who lost 3-0 to Botafogo/SP in the last round, is our next opponent in the Paulistão as we move into the quarter-finals (check the final standings to your right). The game takes place on Sunday, at the Pacaembu stadium. A draw and the team to face Corinthians or Oeste in one of the semi-finals will be decided in a penalty shootout. São Paulo vs Portuguesa and Santos vs Ponte Preta will define the second semi-final constellation.
Before the clash with Mirassol, there’s the return game against Santo André (who finished last in the Paulistão, mind you) this coming Thursday. Thus, the ideal scenario for this week would be two comfortable victories on Thursday and Sunday, then a full week’s rest before the Paulistão semi-final on 1 May against either the Skunks or Oeste.
The next eight weeks will feature life or death practically every week, providing that Palmeiras advance in the Paulistão and the Copa do Brasil. On top of that, the Brazilian Championship kicks in as of 22 May. Beautiful!