Wet dream

Only a few weeks back, palmeirenses had nothing to look forward to and 2011 was a lost cause. The arrival of Cesar Sampaio and the exit of Judas30 provoked changes, with the away draw against Grêmio serving as a first indicator of possibly better days. The subsequent and convincing win against Bahia distanced Palmeiras from any risk of relegation and brought the team well into next year’s South America Cup zone.

Yesterday, act one of the Grand Finale was delivered to stunning effect as Palmeiras beat São Paulo Futebol Clube 1-0 (watch the highlights below) and dramatically reduced the enemy’s chances of qualifying for next year’s Libertadores Cup. Simultaneously Corinthians beat Figueirense 0-1, while a last minute goal from Vasco sealed their 2-1 away victory over Fluminense, postponing the title decision to the very last round and propelling Palmeiras’ status from extra to lead supporting role: Corinthians need at least a draw against Palmeiras to secure the title; a loss combined with Vasco beating Flamengo would hand the title over to the Maltese crusaders.

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It’s in moments like these that Valdivia stands out. Not only does he cope well with pressure, tension and provocations: he feeds from it. He’s the kind of player you love to have on your side and loath when playing for the enemy. Yesterday he was on fire, playing well and driving the opponent insane with his cocky attitude. Thankfully, the referee was in a good mood; he could have chosen to show Valdivia the yellow card, taking him out of the final game against the skunks. No such (bad) luck: Palmeiras will come armed and ready. Any corintiano claiming to be calm and confident is a liar.

— ooo —

The weekend proved a source of joy also for all of us who have been following the Palmeiras sub-17, or the “Verdãozinho”. On Saturday, they played Santos for the second leg of the Paulista Championship title. The 2-1 advantage from the first game was enough to secure the novel title, as the youngsters lost by the same score but had the advantage due to a better overall campaign. And what a campaign! 32 games, 25 victories, 3 draws and 4 losses – a total of 86 goals scored and only 26 suffered. Congratulations to everybody involved in this great achievement, not least upcoming stars like Bruno Dybal, Luis Gustavo, Hugo Ragelli, Bruno Sabiá and goalkeeper Vinícius; for sure these kids and others will attract even more attention as from now on.

The pictures below are courtesy of the “Instituto Palestrina de Estatística – IPE”. Even further down, game highlights and post-game commemoration courtesy of Antena Verde.

  

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1 Comment

  1. O Palmeiras só tem uma jogada… Marcos Assunção batendo falta. o Palmeiras sobreviveu neste campeonato apenas com esta jogada. raramente os gols do Alvi-verde paulista saiam em jogadas bem armadas.

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