Against Vasco da Gama, Scolari opted for an alternative lineup, indicating a clear preference for the knockout tournaments underway. Bruno Henrique and Weverton were the only usual suspects in the starting eleven. Many of the regular players were not even on the bench.
The first half was not much different from previous games with our new coach: Palmeiras were well organized defensively, but struggled a bit to create scoring opportunities. The best one was a header from Deyverson, saved by Martin Silva.
The bad news from the first half was Scarpa’s injury, the seriousness yet to be known. Shortly before halftime, the player twisted his ankle and had to be immediately substituted by Hyoran.
Back from the halftime break, a unusual substitution: Jailson came on, replacing Weverton between the posts. Later, we learnt the goalkeeper had felt a slight discomfort in his groin, but a recovery is expected in time for Thursday’s game.
In the second half, Palmeiras seemed more interested in going for victory. The winning goal came in the 15th minute: Lucas Lima made a brilliant pass to Hyoran, who headed the ball into the crossbar. Deyverson was alert on the rebound, taking full advantage off the open goal at his disposal.
In the minutes following the goal, Palmeiras exercised a blitz and scored the second goal in a header of newcomer Gustavo Gómez, but the referee incorrectly disallowed it, claiming offside.
For the remainder of the game, Palmeiras guarded Jailson’s goal very well and Vasco did not pose any serious threat. The three points were important to keep Palmeiras in proximity of the leaders, nurturing the dream of winning the Brazilian Championship for the tenth time.
The game proved a good opportunity for Felipão to test players that might become important in the remainder of the season. He also managed to restore some faith in Deyverson: the centre-forward had not scored so far in 2018 and have been heavily criticized by supporters. Yesterday, he was the best player on the pitch.
Important also to notice that one more game was added to the clean sheet count. Since Big Phil took charge of Palmeiras, our goalkeepers have not once fetched the ball from the back of the net.
Palmeiras’ next commitment in the Brazilian Championship is on Sunday 19th against Vitória, state of Bahia. Palmeiras’ opponent on Thursday, in the Brazil Cup, originates from the very same state. Palmeiras and Bahia battle it out for a spot in the semi-finals. As you remember, the first leg, away, ended in a goalless draw. Another draw would take the decision to penalties.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
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by Augusto Anteghini Oazi