Thursday, 25 November 2010

Goiás Stun Palmeiras to Reach Copa Sul-Americana Final

Having won the away leg 1-0 last week, Palmeiras were considered favourites to advance from their all-Brazilian Copa Sul-americana semi-final with Goiás. Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari was clearly prioritising the competition; frequently resting his side's star players in recent Série A matches so as to keep them fresh for this game. Goiás, however, tore up the scipt last night, coming from behind to dump the Verdão out of the tournament.

In front of a packed Pacaembu, the hosts took control early on; Tinga rattled the post with a powerful drive, and Luan tested Goiás 'keeper Harlei. With half an hour gone, Palmeiras broke the deadlock; Edinho lofted a lovely diagonal pass for Luan, who held off his marker before volleying into the far corner. The goal have the São Paulo side a 2-0 aggegate advantage, leaving Goiás with plenty to do. Their task was made easier with a slightly fortuitous goal on the stroke of halftime; Carlos Alberto's close range header took a heavy deflection off Tinga, and beat Deola in the Palmeiras goal.

Despair for Palmeiras forward Luan (left), as the Goiás players celebrate.

Palmeiras had their share of chances in the second period, with Kléber in particular guilty of some wasteful finishing. Their profligacy would be punished by Goiás, who scored their crucial second goal with ten minutes remaining. Marcão's cross from the left was headed back across goal by Rafael Moura, giving Ernando the easiest of finishes. The entire Pacaembu fell silent, stunned at the away side's comeback. Palmeiras tried to recover in the final minutes, but the dye was cast; Goiás progress to the final on away goals. They will meet either LDU Quito or Independiente, who will settle their semi-final this evening.

Result; Palmeiras 1-2 Goiás (2-2 on aggregate; Goiás win on away goals).

(Photo credit; Ari Ferreira.)

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