What a superb football night we had! Putting to shame the expectations for a monotonous game, since Palmeiras was almost classified after the 3-0 in the first leg, the white and green players ran after every ball as if the match was the most important of their lives. The 25.446 palmeirenses present at Allianz Parque were amazed by the Verdão’s performance.
Roger Machado was left without Jailson (suspended by the sports tribunal for three games, an additional effect of the red card he received against Corinthians and subsequent hot-headed albeit true statements made to the press) and Borja (serving the Colombian national team). He picked Prass and Keno for the starting eleven, with Willian positioned as centre-forward.
The game started with Palmeiras suffocating Novorizontino and in the 6th minute the score had already been opened. Willian received from Lucas Lima and sought Bruno Henrique; the ball was blocked, but returned to Willian, who with the second attempt found Bruno Henrique free to score.
The second goal came 10 minutes later. A one-two between Keno and Lucas Lima left the winger in position to execute a lovely chip shot, the keeper completely beaten.
The rhythm was insane, and in the 25th minute Dudu crossed the ball to Lucas Lima, but the midfielder’s shot was saved by the keeper. In the 34th minute Lucas Lima, always Lima, found Marcos Rocha behind the defenders with a long ball. The right-back crossed it to Willian, who firmly concluded to increase Palmeiras’ lead. In the last minute of the first half, Dudu still had time to score the fourth, after a give-and-go with Keno inside Novorizontino’s box.
After the perfect first half, Roger Machado promoted the season debut of centreback Edu Dracena, giving Thiago Martins a rest. Tchê Tchê also came on, replacing Marcos Rocha.
As the match re-initiated, Palmeiras were again in control, but less impetuous. This slower rhythm did however not stop opportunities from being created. Bruno Henrique missed the target in the 7th minute and Felipe Melo’s header was saved by Oliveira with 14 minutes on the clock.
In the 16th minute, Jonatan Lima received his second yellow card and went home earlier. In the 22nd minute, the referee did not award a penalty when Keno was pushed by the defender while trying to reach a crossed ball. 6 minutes later, another penalty suffered by Keno, this time the referee pointing to the 9-meter mark. Felipe Melo requested the ball and Dudu, the official penalty converter, granted it to him. Unfortunately, the outcome was not the best: Felipe sent the ball well above target.
The missed penalty was soon forgotten. In the 34th minute, Lucas Lima crossed the ball to Papagaio. The kid had come on for Willian and did not miss the opportunity to score his first goal playing as a professional for Palmeiras, a beautiful header giving final numbers to the match, making it Palmeiras’ biggest goleada at the Allianz Parque to date. Make sure to check out the highlights!
Palmeiras’ opponent had finished the group stage of the São Paulo state Championship as the third best team overall in the tournament. Nobody expected Palmeiras going through with such ease. With an aggregated score of 8-0, Palmeiras massacred Novorizontino and are ready for the semifinals. Later tonight we will come to know our next opponent, most likely Santos, unless Bragantino classifies through a penalty shootout.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
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by Augusto Anteghini Oazi