Last weeks “minimal but solid victory” led Palmeiras supporters to expect a no-thrills return game against CRB for the Brazil Cup. Instead, we were treated to an unforgettable night in the negative end of the spectrum, witnessing Palmeiras being eliminated from the competition in yet another embarrassing penalty shootout.
CRB opened the scorecard already in the 5th minute, after an error by Victor Luis. CRB then naturally parked the bus. Palmeiras fired THIRTY FOUR shots without finding the equalizer. The number may seem huge – and it is – but a majority of these shots were off target and/or of poor quality.
With the decision left to a penalty shootout, palmeirenses prepared for the worst: previous three penalty shootouts in 2021 all ended badly. Now we can add a fourth to the list: in unbelievable fashion, Lucas Lima, Breno Lopes, Luiz Adriano and Marcos Rocha failed to convert, advancing second-division CRB to the group of 16 while sending Palmeiras packing.
Weverton; Mayke (Marcos Rocha), Luan, Renan and Victor Luis; Felipe Melo (Zé Rafael), Raphael Veiga (Lucas Lima) and Scarpa; Rony (Breno Lopes), Wesley (Willian) and Luiz Adriano.
Luan received a yellow card.
Scarpa’s many shots (he took a third of the total) went mostly off target, but he seemed the only one determined to avoid a penalty shootout.
Abel Ferreira has credit with supporters after the historical 2020 season with the titles of the Libertadores Cup and the Brazil Cup, but Palmeiras’ performance in decisive moments has so far in 2021 been very poor. The substitution of Veiga by Lucas Lima with ten minutes remaining was inexplicable, as Veiga is by far Palmeiras’ best penalty converter.
The aren’t adjectives to classify Palmeiras’ performance on penalties. Wearing our jersey, Luiz Adriano has blown eight out of ten penalties. Since the beginning of the year, Palmeiras have failed to convert an amazing fifteen penalties. Palmeiras have lost seven out of the last eight shootouts. The bad stats are endless and we’ll stop here.
As for coach Abel Ferreira, this is the moment of truth. Now, we will learn what he’s truly made of. He did express earlier in the year that he wanted and needed reinforcements, but the premature Brazil Cup exit cannot in any way be blamed on not having those wishes attended. Managing a Brazilian squad in moments of turbulence in extremely difficult, and enjoying the confidence and continuous backing from club directors almost unheard of. Anything that happened a few months ago might as well have happened decades ago, they are of no relevance: another negative result upcoming weekend and Abel could be out in a flash. Has he had enough already, or will he fight with all his might to ride the storm out?
If there’s one team in a situation worse than Palmeiras, it’s longtime rivals Corinthians, also kicked out yesterday of the Brazil Cup. Destiny put the teams to face each other this Saturday for the third round of the Brasileirão. Brace yourselves for an epic clash with heaven and hell in the stakes.
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.