Palmeiras 1-0 Libertad/PAR

salute.
In the world of Brazilian football, the expression that best translates what we saw yesterday is “coração na chuteira”; the hart, not worn on the sleeve, but rather on the boot. That’s how you play the game, especially if we’re talking Libertadores. That’s how you win the most sceptical spectator over on your side. That’s how you instigate fear and respect in your opponent.

Palmeiras yesterday were heart and soul, but not only that: the young squad showed surprising tactical obedience and coolness. Not even when decimated to ten men and Libertad’s pressure increased, did the nervousness kick in. No, confidence and experience – an experience most of our players do yet not have – best describes what the players transmitted to the opponent, to the 35.000 gathered supporters and to the TV cameras. Now, obviously, tactical obedience presuppose there are tactics to be obeyed. Kleina is the definition of low key, but Palmeiras just might have struck gold big time: our coach is little by little showing there’s more to him than meets the eye.

And so, limited Palmeiras, the ugly duckling, the second division team, yesterday beat the only undefeated team in level-headed group 2, assumed first position and guaranteed a spot in the knockout phase with one round to go.
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Coach Kleina has every reason to smile. The unity of the group is uncontested and he seems rock steady in his beliefs and long-term goals. Players and directors are buying it and everyone’s pulling together. Sounds so simple, but heaven knows it’s never been at Palmeiras: one more indicator that times they are a-changing.

Coming Thursday, Palmeiras play already eliminated Sporting Cristal in Lima. Winning would secure first position in the group 2, with home advantages and presumably easer opponents in the knockout phase. The second spot will be decided in the clash between Libertad and Tigre from Argentina. A draw and the Paraguayans are through.

First however, Palmeiras refocus on the São Paulo Championship, as Guarani await on Sunday. Palmeiras, currently in sixth and already qualified, could still use the three points to improve position and secure home game advantage and easier opponents in the knock-out phase that follows in a couple of weeks’ time. Three points, and Palmeiras grow their winning streak to five. It’s hard to believe even when writing it.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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5 Comments

  1. Hi Kristian,
    Michael here giving you the Gringo take on such an important day in the life of Palmieras. Before I start a very big thank you goes to my Girlfriend who made sure I got to the game and battled Sao Paulo traffic to pick me up after the game. Also shout out to Gabriel who “baby sat” a new Palmeirense fan.

    I was amazed at the passion and outright love for this great club. Prior to the game walking from the subway to the stadium, the atmosphere was friendly and hopeful. It felt like there was a sense of uncertainty of the team’s capability to get a positive result.

    Once outside the stadium, a slight confidence was in the air, maybe from the street vendor “Dutch courage” serum. I personally was hoping for a draw knowing that a win would be a bonus and tricky away game was mostly on the cards.

    Inside the stadium looking for my seat, I was as excited as a kid in a candy store. The first impression was wow, I am here and what a dangerous place to be if there was a crowd rush. Missing the kickoff was a minor set back, after that it was one of the best games I’ve been to.

    First time a Brazilian football match I had high expectations, probably sunconciously thinking I was going to see some Brazilian flair of the likes of Ronaldinho during his hey days. You had realigned those expectations in your previous post. It was pure emotion that night, a young team challenging ever “50-50” ball. It really was ferocious, I was surprised by the speed of the game at times. Really waiting for that special piece of skill. It did come but from a libertad player.

    The players were nervous at times, booting the ball up feild with no thought or finesse. This could be excused at the manager had motivated the team to put their, body and soul on the line for Palmieras. The crowd chats of Porco and Palmiears still echo in my head. We the crowd were most definitely the 12th man. It was so special to be there and truly honoured to have witnessed the joy and adulation of the winning goal. It was a relief and extacy at the same time, it was a feeling of we can do it! From the time the goal was scored my heart raced, urging the boys in green who fought like warriors til that final whistle.

    Like all great dramas we had a player sent off, thoughts of a crucial man down for the final away game. The green warriors dug deep with ten men to shield our goal And every time we moved into the final third the crowd lifted that bit more. We felt we were good for another goal, we would be had we executed that final pass.

    When that final whistle sounded it was the sweetest sound. It was an honor to have been there. Now I look forward to the next game!

    Forza Palestra Italia

    Best regards

    Michael

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