Posts Tagged ‘peñarol’

We all knew facing Peñarol would be tough, both physically and mentally. We were possibly not prepared for the scale. The Uruguayan players did absolutely everything in the book to sabotage the game – excessive use of force, retarding by all means possible, provocations including racial slurs. The Peñarol coach even deliberately provided the fourth referee with wrong numbers while conducting his substitutions, causing further delays.

To the mix, add a referee that was lost at best. He allowing for most of the above, delayed the game flow himself, and responded to our player’s growing frustration by sending Dudu off.

None of this mattered in the end. In a spectacular display of collective and individual determination, Palmeiras – down by the odd goal after the first half – came back in spectacular fashion to turn the game around with goals from Willian and Dudu, then suffer the equalizer before, in the dying minute, secure the three points through Fabiano. An epic, unforgettable night. I am literally speechless, and no doubt share this with most of the other 39.000 supporters who yesterday carried the team from start to finish.

A special mentioning to Guerra, yesterday’s master of the midfield, with an incredible number of passes finding his teammates in position to fire away. Palmeiras could and should have netted at least three more times, including a penalty that Borja sent up the stands.

The sequence of decisive games continues Sunday, with the first leg of the Paulistão semi-finals: Ponte Preta, who eliminated Santos in the quarterfinals, are on the menu.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

Ah yes, should say something about the pitch. Apparently, it was really good. Let’s see how it holds up in the weeks to come and, in particular, after having been covered up during a concert or two. For now, a rare “well done” to the arena administration.

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Football Soccer - 2017 Copa Libertadores draw.
Wednesday night, the South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) carried out the 2017 Libertadores Cup draw. The number of participating teams has grown considerably, from 38 to 47, while one country less is represented, as Mexico opted out. This will be the 58th edition of the tournament and it will span for a whopping ten months – from 23 January to 29 November – the winner qualifying to the 2017 FIFA Club World Cup taking place 6-16 December in the Emirates.

Palmeiras ended up in group 5, together with Peñarol (Uruguay) and Jorge Wilstermann (Bolivia). The fourth team in the group will be the top dog of the knockout prequel featuring Atlético Tucumán (Argentina) vs El Nacional (Ecuador) and Atlético Junior (Colombia) vs Carabobo (Venezuela).

With all due respect to the adversaries in group 5, none of them strike fear in the hearts of palmeirenses. Peñarol are of course a traditional side and should be respected, but have not put together a truly competitive squad in years. Jorge Wilstermann are from Cochabamba, situated 2.500 meters above sea level: a piece of cake compared to La Paz’s 3.700. And the fourth team, yet to be defined… Well.

The group phase, where Palmeiras, Peñarol and Jorge Wilstermann enter the competition, only starts in early March. Our Verdão initiate their Libertadores campaign away, against the still undefined fourth team in the group, followed by two home games, against the Bolivians and the Argentines. The three completing games take place in reverse order.

Below, full tables with the eight groups.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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