Palmeiras were thrashed 6-0 at the hands of Coritiba in the Brazilian Cup on Thursday night. The result is a huge blow to Palmeiras fans who had pinned their hopes on the competition after their defeat against Corinthians in last weekend’s São Paulo State Championship semi-final. To progress in the cup, Palmeiras will now need to beat Coritiba by seven goals or more in the second leg this week. Remember that the winner of the Brazilian Cup gaurantee a spot in next year’s Copa Libertadores.
All the more shocking is that going into the game, Palmeiras had the best defence in the whole of Brazil so far this year. They also had a respectable São Paulo State Championship where they were unlucky to lose to Corinthians in the semi-final on Sunday. But for all of Filipão’s (Big Phil) good work in getting a modest team well organized and hard to beat, Palmeiras’ shortcomings were horribly exposed on Thursday night. Some of the players are just not up to the job and their ability and temperament seriously brought into question. So too, the depth of their squad and perhaps the work of their coach.
Will this just go down as a blip? Unfortunately for Palmeiras, probably not. A 6-0 defeat in any country or Championship is bad but in Brazil it is utter humiliation. And everything else good that has ever happened is immediately forgotten. The reverse is also true. For example after their extraordinary and unexpected Libertadores collapses this week, all that Internacional and Cruzeiro need for their fans forgiveness is to beat Grêmio and Atlético Mineiro. They are both lucky enough to get that chance this weekend. Not so lucky for Palmeiras though, who don’t have any derby matches coming up soon.
As for Coritiba, well, they deserve A LOT of credit. The team has recently won the Paraná State Championships. No amazing feat but they did so by winning all of their 15 games or so. They have won, I think, 24 games in a row in all competitions. They were promoted from the Série B last year and it looks like they are going to produce a heck of a lot of surprizes in this year’s Série A. Their defence is strong. Their attack is quick and clinical. Their counter attacks are swift and effective. They are a threat from set pieces. The perfect team really. Watch this space.
Elsewhere in the Brazilian Cup Flamengo surprisingly lost at home to Ceará, 2-1, São Paulo beat Avaí 1-0 at home while Vasco secured a good looking 2-2 draw with Atlético Paranaense away from home.