The scorecard and the ball possession numbers (73% for Palmeiras, 27% for Santo André) indicate that palmeirenses had a calm night yesterday as their team easily classified to the semifinal. However, knowing that the opener come only in the 43rd minute of the second half may change perceptions.
The first goal came after Felipe Melo’s header deflected off a defender, giving no chance to Santo André’s goalkeeper. The second, in the last minute of stoppage time, was scored by Marcos Rocha, seizing a rebound from the keeper, after Santo André went full throttle offense seeking the equalizer, which would take the decision to penalties.
Weverton; Marcos Rocha, Felipe Melo, Gustavo Gómez and Diogo Barbosa; Patrick de Paula (Bruno Henrique), Gabriel Menino (Lucas Lima) and Ramires (Luan); Rony (Scarpa), Willian (Zé Rafael) and Luiz Adriano.
In a knockout phase, the important is to classify and Palmeiras completed this task successfully. The team did however not play well, and if it weren’t for Weverton, performing three difficult saves, the situation would’ve been more difficult. That being said, in the other game of the night, São Paulo, by many considered “the” contender, were eliminated at home by Mirassol, a team that lost eighteen players – laid off or transferred – during the pandemic. Let’s enjoy the moment and celebrate our classification!
It’s only the third match after more than four months without playing, but supporters are already losing their patience with coach Luxemburgo. The defeat in the Derby and the proximity of a shot at the State title certainly contributes to the tension.
Watching Lucas Lima play is nerve-racking. He has all the opportunities to show his value and win a spot in the starting-eleven and yet… Yesterday, he played for 45 minutes and produced close to zero. Bizarre.
7 semifinals in a row
Since 2014, Palmeiras is the only team in the São Paulo state Championship to classify to all of the semifinals. It’s a good record, but it’s also worth mentioning that none of these classifications resulted in a title. Consistency is key to fight for titles. Let’s hope this year it will come!
Tonight, we will know our opponents in the semifinal. It is certain that Palmeiras will play at home and won’t face Red Bull Bragantino. Just like the quarterfinal, the semifinal is a single leg and the only advantage Palmeiras have is playing at home; a draw takes the decision to a penalty shootout. The game is scheduled for on Sunday, August 2nd.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
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by Augusto Anteghini Oazi