Friday, 29 October 2010

Goals for Gladiator and He-Man as Copa Sul-Americana Ties End All Square

One of the things that I love most about football in Brazil is that everything and everyone seems to have a nickname. Only in Brazil could it make sense to report a goal by The Gladiator at the Alligator Arena. Yet precisely this happened on Wednesday night, in one of the two all-Brazilian quarter-finals of the Copa Sul-Americana.

'O Gladiador' celebrates his goal for Palmeiras.

At the Arena do Jacaré, in-form Atlético Mineiro played host to Luiz Felipe Scolari's Palmeiras side. In a lively game, it was the Verdão who took the lead; Kléber (the aforementioned 'Gladiator') exchanged passes with Tinga before stetching to side-foot past Renan Ribeiro. The referee awarded Palmeiras a penalty soon after, but overturned his own decision after consultation with his linesman; Lincoln, who was brought down in the area, had been offside prior to the incident. The São Paulo side's disgust was compounded in with 15 minutes to go, when Atlético were given a spot kick of their own. Obina, who tumbled after minimal contact with a defender, himself stepped up to equalise. Palmeiras will feel hard done by, but still have every chance of progressing.

In Brazil's central plateau, it was Rafael Moura (otherwise known as 'He-Man') who rescued a point for hosts Goiás against Avaí. Moura put the Esmeraldino ahead early on with a smart finish, but Avaí reacted in style. Davi levelled from the penalty spot thanks a shocking decision from referee Wilson Luiz Seneme, before Marcelinho bent in a fine second. In the third minute of injury time, however, Rafael Moura exposed the Skeletors in the closet of the Avaí defence (I'm so, so sorry for that pun) to poke home an equaliser. All to play for in the second leg.

Results; Atlético-MG 1-1 Palmeiras, Goiás 2-2 Avaí.

(Photo credit; Ramon Bitencourt.)

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