The advantage built in the first leg increased to an almost insurmountable five goals lead with the brace scored by Raphael Veiga in the first half of the second leg. Palmeiras waited for Ceará in the defensive half, knowing the opponent would grant some spaces and seizing these to counter-attack effectively.
The comfortable situation resulted in a relaxed attitude in the second half that led to the first two goals suffered under Abel’s command, but the generous advantaged of the first leg was more than enough to take the team to the next phase.
América Mineiro eliminated Internacional in a penalty shootout to play Palmeiras in the semifinals. São Paulo and Grêmio battle it out for the second spot in the finals.
Weverton; Marcos Rocha, Emerson Santos, Renan and Mayke; Patrick de Paula, Zé Rafael (Ramires) and Raphael Veiga (Lucas Esteves); Lucas Lima (Gustavo Gómez), Willian (Luiz Adriano) and Aníbal (Marcelinho).
Ramires, Weverton and Patrick de Paula received yellow cards.
Raphael Veiga is a completely different player since Luxemburgo’s exit. The midfielder is playing like an authentic number 10 and guaranteed Palmeiras’ spot in the semifinals with a brace, the second goal an exquisite backheel flick.
The sloppiness at the beginning of the second half yielded two goals to Ceará and hadn’t the VAR fixed the decision to award Ceará a penalty soon after the equalizer, the situation could have gotten out of hand.
Fifteen players have been diagnosed with COVID in the squad and in the next few days the numbers might increase further; the situation is very serious.
Palmeiras’ next game is against Goiás, on Saturday 21st, for the Brasileirão.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
– – – ooo – – –
by Augusto Anteghini Oazi
*Here at Anything Palmeiras, we love football. We love Palmeiras. We are always keen to see Palmeiras play, and keen to write about it for you. But we’re against the return of football in a country that still hasn’t controlled the coronavirus pandemic. We express our deepest sympathy to the families whose loved ones have been taken by the disease.