Coming from a 1-1 draw in the first leg, Palmeiras basically needed a clean sheet yesterday to guarantee a place among the four best teams of South America. With Abel Ferreira returning to the sidelines, the team delivered much more than in the last couple of games, to the joy of millions of palmeirenses reinforcing the hope of conquering the Libertadores Cup for the second time in history. Tomorrow, Nacional and River Plate battle it out to become our opponent.
The 3-0 translates well the game, with Palmeiras playing far better than Libertad, but the first opportunity to score was actually theirs, with Weverton brilliantly avoiding a tense night. Shortly thereafter, in the 21st minute, Scarpa began clearing the path to the semifinals scoring the opener.
In the second half, Palmeiras kept dominating Libertad and the situation improved further as Piris received a red card in the 64th minute. Four minutes later, Rony increased Palmeiras’ lead and in the 82th minute, Gabriel Menino put final numbers to the game.
Weverton; Marcos Rocha (Mayke), Luan, Gustavo Gómez (Emerson Santos) and Viña; Danilo, Gabriel Menino and Raphael Veiga (Zé Rafael); Veron, Scarpa (Breno Lopes) and Rony (Willian).
Only Abel Ferreira received a yellow card.
Who would believe that in such a short time players like Scarpa and Rony would be delivering a high level performance to put Palmeiras in the semifinals of the Libertadores Cup? Abel Ferreira has transformed the team into a machine that creates plenty of scoring opportunities, while maintaining the defense solid. Palmeiras yesterday left the stadium after midnight. Today, training started at 10 am. There are many components to this transformation, and hard work certainly is one of them.
Marcos Rocha, despite assisting Rony in the second goal, was rather lost defensively, not winning one duel in the air and permitting that several dangerous situations materialised. In the second half he gave the ball away and performed a small miracle to avoid Libertad’s goal, correcting the mess he had originated.
We are in the semifinals of the Libertadores Cup! Red light off for today!
There is no time for celebrations. Already on Saturday 19th, Palmeiras faces Internacional in Porto Alegre for the Brazilian League. Both teams stand at 41 points, Palmeiras one game short. In addition to continue in the top-4, a victory would place Palmeiras closer to the top contenders, as leader São Paulo receive runners-up Atlético Mineiro in this round.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
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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.