Amidst the worst outbreak until now of the coronavirus pandemic in Brazil, Palmeiras traveled to Argentina to make the “official” debut of the season. With the São Paulo state Championship on hold due to the ever increasing number of deaths in the state, it had been two weeks since Palmeiras last played.
The Recopa is a clash between two CONMEBOL tournament champions: last season’s winner of the Libertadores Cup against last season’s winner of the South-America Cup.
The first leg of the Recopa final was the first time Abel would line-up the team in full strength and the lack of rhythm of our players was noticeable, Defensa y Justicia began controlling the match, with Weverton operating a miracle already in the 3rd minute. Things started to click for Palmeiras and with 16 minutes on the clock Willian assisted Rony, who broke free to open the score with a beautiful touch over the goalkeeper.
In the second half, spaces in front of Palmeiras’ defensive line became increasingly larger and Braian Romero seized a beautiful back heel assist of Bou to equalize the scorecard in the 58th minute. Acknowledging the night would accept nothing but beautiful goals, Scarpa took a splendid free kick in the keepers left top corner to put final numbers to the game and carry Palmeiras’ advantage into the second leg, scheduled for Wednesday the 14th at the Mané Garrincha stadium, Brasilia.
Weverton; Marcos Rocha, Luan, Gustavo Gómez and Viña; Felipe Melo (Patrick de Paula), Zé Rafael (Danilo) and Raphael Veiga (Scarpa); Willian (Lucas Esteves), Breno Lopes (Mayke) and Rony.
Luan, Viña, Scarpa, Patrick de Paula and Lucas Lima received yellow cards.
When playing a “tournament” with only a final to be played, the most important is the result, not how well the team played. Of course anybody would have preferred a more solid exhibition, but under the current situation, our players did very well and managed to secure an important advantage for the second game.
Spaces were offered up in front of our defensive line and Abel Ferreira waited too long to address the issue. Defensa y Justicia even scored a second goal, fortunately ruled offside.
Heck no. Starting the season winning in Argentina? All good.
Palmeiras return to Brazil to play another final (!) before the second leg of the Recopa: this Sunday the 11th, Flamengo await for the Supercopa do Brasil, a single leg final featuring the current Brazil Cup champions (us) and the current Brazilian League champions (them). Flamengo are obviously a stronger side than Defensa y Justicia, and have for the last weeks played regularly in the Rio de Janeiro state championship. A tougher nut to crack.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
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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.