Unlike the previous couple of titles Palmeiras won this season, the Brazil Cup didn’t save any surprises for the dying minutes of the second half. Abel prepared the team to play with the advantage built in the first leg, holding Grêmio’s initial pressure at bay and looking for those openings that inevitably would be available as the team from Porto Alegre pushed for a goal to at least take the decision to penalties.
Although the first ten minutes saw Grêmio exercising considerable pressure, Palmeiras gradually took control of the game, finishing the first half in better shape. In the second half, as the opponent grew tired and anxious, Palmeiras had even more space to maneuver and in the 53rd minute, Veiga brilliantly carried the ball from our defense to the attack before providing young Wesley with the assist. The final blow came in the 83rd minute, Gabriel Menino seizing another counter-attack to put final numbers to the game, guaranteeing Palmeiras the hefty prize sum of R$ 54 million (US$ 9.6 million).
Weverton; Marcos Rocha, Gustavo Gómez, Alan Empereur and Viña; Felipe Melo, Zé Rafael (Patrick de Paula) and Raphael Veiga (Mayke); Wesley (Gabriel Menino), Rony and Luiz Adriano (Willian).
Zé Rafael, Gabriel Menino, Marcos Rocha, Mayke and Lucas Esteves received yellow cards.
It is a great resume of the season that both goals of the final were scored by players coming from the youth categories. After decades under influence from agents only looking for quick profits, former Palmeiras president Paulo Nobre six years ago initiated the reconstruction of the youth categories, with gigantic payoff. Never have Palmeiras had such an impressive batch of homegrown players.
A title per month is a difficult standard to keep up, but since we are already getting used to it, Abel and players better keep the rhythm going or else…. There will be protests!!!
It’s sad we couldn’t celebrate the Treble hugging our fellow palmeirenses throughout the streets of the whole world.
Palmeiras will finally have time to rest key players, as apparently the club has decided to treat the São Paulo state Championship as a pre-season tournament. Abel will return to Portugal to stay with his family for a few days while an alternative team will face São Caetano on Thursday, 11th. Remaining players have been divided into two groups that will enjoy some well-deserved 10 days vacation.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
– – – ooo – – –
by Augusto Anteghini Oazi & Kristian Bengtson
*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.