The two faces of a theatre mask illustrates yesterday’s game perfectly. After 1-1 in the first leg against Sampaio Corrêa, Palmeiras needed a goalless draw or a simple victory to advance in the Copa do Brasil. The Verdão started alright, created a few semi-chances, but saw Sampaio take the lead after splendid footwork by Pimentinha followed by a cross that lead to the brace. Enough to make Palmeiras nervous and create nothing for the remainder of the first half.
Coach Oswaldo certainly talked our players straight, in addition to promoting the entrance of Robinho as an additional creative force on the midfield. Within ten minutes Palmeiras had turned things around: Vítor Hugo equalized after a corner; Cristaldo deflected a cross from Lucas (always Lucas) to take the lead. And the walk in the park continued with Zé Roberto scoring after a great setup by Dudu; the same Dudu suffering a penalty that Kelvin converted on the rebound from Zé’s badly taken shot; and Zé closing the scorecard with a header after receiving that sweet cross from Egídio.
5-1 is the biggest score so far at the Allianz Parque, entertaining the 25.000 strong crowd that showed up on a late, cold and at times rainy Tuesday night. Impressive.
In the upcoming third round of the competition, Palmeiras face either ASA (state of Alagoas) or Vitória (state of Bahia). The two play their first leg today, the return game next week.
In the meantime, Palmeiras prepare for Sunday’s away game against Joinville, Santa Catarina. Good news is Arouca, Leandro Pereira and Jackson should have recovered from their minor muscular injuries by then.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!