Posts Tagged ‘referee’

In the ninth match of the season, Palmeiras were defeated for the first time in 2018 in the worst way possible: a derby against Corinthians. As we’ve grown used to in the last derbies, this one also had some weird decisions from the referee that helped the black and white side.

During the first minutes, the two teams created few chances. Jadson fired away a free kick close to Jailson’s goal and Palmeiras tried to react minutes later, Antonio Carlos’ shot blocked by Henrique.

The first big chance came to the green side in the 18th minute: Willian recovered the ball in the attacking half, passed it on to Tchê Tchê who found Borja, but Cássio sprinted to make his first save in the game. Corinthians had their biggest chance one minute later when Thiago Martins lost the ball to Romero while trying to protect it in the deep end; Antonio Carlos intercepted the pass that would find Rodriguinho clean inside the box.

Minutes later, Fagner had his criminal moment, as in every match. Lucas Lima was the victim, receiving studs to the thigh, but the referee preferred to not award the foul as the ball remained in Palmeiras’ domain: Willian fired a shot easily saved by Cássio, then Fagner received a yellow.

It was looking as the teams wouldn’t break the deadlock before half time, but then Corinthians were allowed to pass the ball around uninterrupted for one minute and 23 seconds, culminating in Gabriel finding Rodriguinho facing Palmeiras’ goal. Two of our men swallowed the bait, going to the ground as Rodriguinho threatened to take the shot before clearing to the left and advancing to score a beautiful goal in the 38th minute. Not much else happened before the half-time whistle.

The second half started with Gustavo Scarpa coming off the bench to replace Willian. Palmeiras showed improvement and with 8 minutes on the clock, Lucas Lima found Borja behind the defenders but the pass was a tad too long and Cássio again sprinted out to make the save just in time. Feeling Palmeiras’ momentum, the Corinthians keeper took three whole minutes to recover from god-knows-what, expertly cooling Palmeiras down.

The next big event defined the match. Corinthians forward Renê Junior came face to face with Palmeiras keeper Jaílson, there was a rough clash, but the referee allowed the action to continue as Corinthians still had domain. Ten seconds of havoc in Palmeiras’ penalty area, as Corinthians took two shots, the latter off target with the ball going out of play. Several more seconds went by, referee Raphael Claus had a look at Renê Junior’s thigh, then awarded Corinthians the penalty and sent Jaílson off. You can even argue the red card was justifiable, but awarding the penalty, after having allowed the action to continue for a full ten seconds after the tackle, Corinthians taking two shots at goal at point blank? Absurd.

Lucas Lima came off in order to have second keeper Fernando Prass come on. The whole spectacle, from Jaílson’s initial fault to Jadson stepping up to the penalty spot (the shot went wide) took six minutes. Add those to the three minutes Cássio “needed” earlier and we’re at nine minutes and counting.

If Palmeiras were having difficulties creating chances when playing 11-to-11, with one man down, the game got even harder. However, as Keno replaced Tchê Tchê, Palmeiras seemed to stabilize and grow, levelling the action, making a draw seem plausible. Unfortunately, in the 33rd minute, another penalty favoured Corinthians, Clayson making no mistake this time, closing the scorecard 2-0.

Referee Claus wrote the final chapter of this pathetic play, adding only 6 minutes of injury time and still so ending the game with 48 minutes on the clock.

Palmeiras lacked in intensity and determination, which contributed to the team’s 4th consecutive loss against Corinthians. However, the scandalous refereeing was the primary game-defining factor. Club president Maurício Galiotte needs to take action.

Upcoming match is a big one: the Copa Libertadores debut. Palmeiras fly to Colombia to play Junior Barranquila on Thursday night. Roger Machado have to keep up the good work, make a few adjustments and keep everyone’s head in place. Palmeiras are a team still in formation. That being said: a good result on Thursday is of outmost importance.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

– – – ooo – – –
by Augusto Anteghini Oazi


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With the distance to the leader increasing to 15 points, Palmeiras might just as well throw in the towel. Finishing in the top four must however remain an absolute goal, as well as winning the Brazil Cup. Goals only achievable if Marcelo Oliveira is able to transform his dissatisfaction into concrete improvements on the pitch.

This 2015 has seen Palmeiras play well against good opponents and badly against weak opponents. It’s exactly when you think “this is the game to win”, that Palmeiras will let you down, repeatedly. Against Goiás was no different.

Yesterday, I felt an acute desire to see Leandro Pereira back in the squad. Leandro receives, turns, shoots – that’s it. Yesterday, our players seemed to think they were all Gabriel Jesus: tricking and dribbling and turning to find that perfect angle, opening, opportunity… Thing is the kid Jesus – yesterday again one of the few good players out there – knows how to, while most others don’t. I caught myself repeatedly screaming “take the shot, just take the damn shot”, always in vain.

Add to this the terrible phase of Egídio, Rafael Marques, Robinho… How can players sink so much in terms of productivity in less than a month’s time?

Let’s not forget Barrios’ goal, incorrectly ruled out for offside. Game-changing moment, that was.

But hey, although the end result might not have been fare, Palmeiras actually did little to deserve anything else. Slightly biased refereeing or not: this game was ours to win.

The Championship is gone. But not only for Palmeiras: it’s dying in the hearts and minds of Brazilians. Yesterday Corinthians beat Fluminense, the latter crying foul at the top of their lungs. So does Atlético Mineiro, claiming they were shamefully robbed against Atlético Paranaense. Ponte Preta idem, against Cruzeiro. Needless to say, palmeirenses are furious but equally resigned, feeling they have lived this script one time too many. Regardless of club preferences, all people talks about is the refereeing, how badly it influence results, and to what point this influence is deliberate. While CBF sticks its head in the sand. It’s killing football.

Meanwhile, Corinthians are flying high. Tite has his squad in a firm grip, with tactics implemented and the pitch well covered: a coverage which includes, the joke goes, two linesmen on the flanks and a centralized referee, articulating the action.

Where do we go from here? To the Allianz Parque, where on Sunday we battle the 2015 National Champions in a derby that will go down in history. Sunday, believe you me, the whole of Brazil is Palmeiras.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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There’s a lot to be said. Palmeiras’ obligation last Sunday was to dominate Ituano just like Bragantino were dominated three days before, reinforcing the tremendous gap between the two teams in terms of tradition, supporter base, national and international projection and, not least, payroll. True that Ituano sported and still sport the best defence so far in the tournament, with only 10 goals suffered in, now, 17 games, but that’s a mere detail: Palmeiras, playing at second home Pacaembu and before a 31.000 head strong crowd had nothing but an obligation to fulfil: beat Ituano to face Santos in the Paulistão finals.

It’s in the nature of obligations to occasionally turn into nightmares. And looking closely, Palmeiras’ undeniable superiority started to deteriorate already against Bragantino, with the referee, as so often, turning a blind eye to the over-physical gameplay commonly adopted by less technical teams. Especially Valdivia was targeted, his right ankle so swollen after the game against Bragantino, Palmeiras’ medic vetoed him from the starting eleven against Ituano. And Ituano followed the script laid out days before: Alan Kardec received a challenge from behind and went down, the Ituano aggressor not even seeing the yellow. Two offensive key players out against the best defence of the championship. Not good.

In addition, Kleina’s choices for the starting eleven and bench were questionable. Tiago Alves was dislocated from his position as centre-back to the right, leaving everyone wondering why Bruninho wasn’t even on the bench. With Kardec’s exit, Vinícius came on, proving once again he adds nothing to the squad. Wesley looked like he was enjoying a walk in the park, while Leandro repeated his lousy performance of previous games.

Palmeiras were nevertheless clearly superior, were in possession of the ball for most of the time and created several opportunities. As time went by, with the ref allowing for the over-physical style to prevail, our players started to show both frustration and nervousness, looking for quick solutions and missing simple passes. Ituano on the other hand maintained their posture, firmly executing the gameplan set out in the first minute: dragging out the status quo all the way to a penalty shootout. Fate wanted differently and reworded Ituano with the one goal close to the final whistle, formally dictating Kleina’s 100th game for Palmeiras a tragedy.

Previous years, the defeat would throw Palmeiras heads first into a bottomless pit. As Gian Oddi at ESPN insightfully wrote a few days back: for those inside the club who feed on the frustration and passion of many, the worse Palmeiras perform, the better for their sordid political ambitions. If crashing out of the Paulistão jeopardises the continuation of the silent and ungrateful revolution currently taking place at Palmeiras, Oddi argues that throwing away the chances to the Paulistão title would be the last of the club’s problems. He’s absolutely right.

All this while remembering that Corinthians didn’t even make it to the knockout phase and that São Paulo FC were kicked out already in the quarter-finals by mighty [sic] Penapolense (who were beating Santos in the other semi-finals with 30 minutes to the final whistle). There’s room for many in the rocky boat.

Page turned. Palmeiras now have an eminent task ahead: eliminate Vilhena from the Brazil Cup this coming Wednesday. A draw is enough, as Palmeiras won the away game 0-1.

After that, all efforts should be put into releasing Alan Kardec from his contract with Benfica. And either sign a new contract with Wesley or sell him. The debts from his purchase during the previous administration is reportedly what’s holding back the signing of a Master sponsor (which would be the governmental bank “Caixa Econômica Federal“, or just “Caixa” for short).

In parallel, time for some soul-searching. Maintaining Kleina is crucial; we needn’t be shown once more that hotshot coaches fail as everybody else have failed at Palmeiras recently. Kleina and the directors need to re-evaluate the squad, dismiss a few players and find options on the market for key positions, especially a top forward and a right-back. It’s all about hard work, entering the Brazilian Championship in mid April in the right mindset.

We’ll be fine. Accidents happen. Although they have been happening more frequently than we would wish at Palmeiras.

Short on the game against Vilhena: Palmeiras have no less than eight players in the medical department: Wendel, França, Fernando Prass, Valdivia, Alan Kardec, Bruno César and Juninho. Possibly also Wesley. Thus, Palmeiras tomorrow will look very different. Not that Vilhena should stand a fighting chance. But hey, what was that again on the topic of “obligations”?

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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Heavy rains turned the pitch into a swamp. Something resembling a game of football took place.

In the last minute of stoppage time, the referee incorrectly handed Sport a corner. The ball was launched into the penalty area, where a Sport player used his arm to get it under control before driving in into the net.

That’s all I have to say about that.

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