Drama, heroes and a happy ending. All the ingredients to make yesterday’s game something to remember for a long time. Finally, Palmeiras and palmeirenses got their revenge for that stolen 2018 State Championship title. It’s been 12 long years since the last Paulistão title…
In the first leg of the finals, at the Corinthians Arena, both teams were more preoccupied in not losing than winning, resulting in a tense game with plenty of heart by little of everything else that pleases the eye. The greatest responsible for the goalless game was Weverton, who twice saved Palmeiras with brilliance.
Yesterday’s second leg, at the Allianz Parque, had teams more eager to score in the regular time to avoid a penalty shootout. Palmeiras scored the opener in the 49th minute – a classy header by Luiz Adriano, after a cross from Viña – and in the 45 minutes that followed, Corinthians offered no threat to Weverton, Palmeiras controlling the game, even blowing several excellent counter-attacks destined to increase the score.
The title seemed in the bag, but in the literally last second of injury time, Jô controlled a long ball hauled into the box and Gómez, until then having a perfect game, slide-tackled the opponent, giving the referee no choice but awarding the penalty. Jô himself took the shot, Weverton dived in the right direction to get his fingers on the ball, but not enough to avoid the equalizer.
The psychological advantage of Corinthians was clear on the face of the players. Palmeiras had the title until the last second but messed up. Weverton was one of the few putting on a fighting face, transmitting confidence, and saved two of the five penalties. Cássio, a recognized penalty saver, got one, from Bruno Henrique. Raphael Veiga, Scarpa, Lucas Lima and Patrick de Paula slotted their shoots to give Palmeiras our 23rd São Paulo state Championship title. A special mentioning to de Paula, who, at the age of only 20, raised to the occasion, requesting to be the one to take the last penalty, which he converted with absolute confidence. Bravo! Enjoy the game highlights below!
Our coach yesterday become the greatest winner of the São Paulo state Championship of all times, with nine titles, five of them coaching Palmeiras (2020, 2008, 1996, 1994 and 1993). Since 1976, Palmeiras have only bagged the Paulistão while coached by Luxemburgo.
More important than the title itself, Palmeiras and Luxemburgo can enjoy a positive momentum with supporters as the Brazilian League kicked off this weekend (had it not been for the Paulistão final, Palmeiras would have played Vasco da Gama today; the game has been postponed, date tbc).
For now, let’s celebrate and enjoy our title!
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
– – – ooo – – –
by Augusto Anteghini Oazi & Kristian Bengtson