Roger Machado chose to spare his regular starting eleven players and paid the price: a home defeat to São Caetano, an adversary that did not even battle that hard, and the 4th game in a row without a victory in the São Paulo state Championship.
Palmeiras’ line-up was very different from last games, with almost the whole team made up of substitutes: Prass; Fabiano, Luan, Juninho, Michel Bastos; Thiago Santos, Bruno Henrique, Tchê Tchê, Scarpa, Keno; Guerra. Moisés was back on the bench and ready to face at least 45 minutes.
São Caetano got off to a good start, creating several chances and surprising the 22.857 supporters present at the Allianz Parque. In the 6th minute, Alex Reinaldo crossed, Fabiano stalled and the ball found Chiquinho clear inside the box to open the score. São Caetano almost increased the lead with a backheel shot from Diego Rosa two minutes later.
Palmeiras’ first opportunity came only at the 30-minute mark: Scarpa took a corner that Juninho dodged and Thiago Santos headed into the post. Palmeiras created another two opportunities before halftime but were unable to level.
When the teams came on for the second half, everybody thought Fabiano would be out of sight. However, Willian replaced Tchê Tchê instead. During the first minutes, Palmeiras displayed a change of attitude and created a number of good chances. Without converting, the match again cooled down, the São Caetano keeper taking every opportunity delay play, until the 18th minute, when he suffered a real injury and had to be substituted.
Keno blew two good opportunities: one shot wide and another saved by the keeper. On stoppage time, Scarpa hit the wood after a free kick, almost ending the abstinence: it’s been more than 3 years since Palmeiras scored a free kick goal.
The regular benchwarmers had their chance to show they deserve a spot in the starting eleven. None of them seized the opportunity.
Coach Machado now have two days to prepare the team for the Choque-Rei, as the Palmeiras vs São Paulo derby is denominated. Beating São Paulo on Thursday night, everybody will forget this sorrow affair against São Caetano and fall in behind the coach once again.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
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by Augusto Anteghini Oazi