Santos brushed off the challenge of Kashiwa Reysol to reach the FIFA Club World Cup final. They beat their Japanese opponents 3-1 with goals from Neymar (who else?), Borges and Danilo. Neymar’s goal to open the scoring was fantastic. Have a look at the video clip below. Borges’ and Danilo’s goals were not too bad either. However, Kashiwa carved open the Santos defence on several occasions – the post and poor finishing saved Santos. Henrique was also lucky not to be sent off after taking down the last man. You get the feeling that their probable final opponents Barcelona won’t be so charitable. The final will be on Sunday at 19.30 local time – 10.30am UK and 08.30am Brazil.
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My hint for Sunday game :
Barcelona 3 x Santos 2
Santos defense is too weak…
i watched the geme, and have to say that the scoreline flattered santos a bit. i cant really see santos getting much change out of barca with their pretty solid defence. and the santos defence was fairly porous – suspect that xavi/iniesta/messi will have a blast.
ps – as a newcomer to brazilian football, can you shed some light on the brazilians in the japanese team, and their brazilian coach??
I hope its not too easy for Xavi, Messi and co against that dodgy Santos defence. I expect Barça to win. I do think that Neymar, Ganso and Borges can cause them some problems though. Neymar is the man for the big occassion so let’s see – it should be entertaining.
As for the Brazilians at Kashiwa, Jorge Wagner is a left back come left midfield / attacking midfielder. In his 30’s now. Before Kashiwa, he played for São Paulo FC. He was there for three or four years and won the league there with Muricy Ramalho (who is now Santos’ coach). I always thought he was a good, although not excellent player. Typical all action performance against Santos last night. He’s also played for Corinthians and Internacional.
Nelson Batista, the coach, is the ultimate journeyman – he’s coached nearly everybody including most of the big teams in Brazil!! Considering all those big teams coached, he hasn’t won that much. He best achievements were winning the league with Corinthians in 1990 and Brazilian Cup with Sport in 2008 – the first in their history! He’s also had several different spells coaching teams in Japan.
Leandro Domingues is 28 and spent most of his career with Vitória, a club from the city of Salvador in the northeast of Brazil – the sort of team that yo-yo’s between the first and second divisions. Other than that I don’t know anything about him. I’d never heard of him before last night.
If Santos improve on the first half performance that should be good enough to challenge Barcelona. A repeat of the second half display will see the game being done before half time.
Keeping it narrow between the lines is going to be crucial in the defensive phase. In attack it’s going to be Ganso. Al-Sadd’s biggest problem vs. Barcelona was that when they got the ball there was no-one in midfield to play precise passes to the men up top. Muricy’s can take care of the parking the bus well enough, but that Ganso-Neymar link is where Santos’ hopes will live or die.
Always good to hear your thoughts Gordon. That’s Gordon who writes about Santos everybody. Check out his blog: http://santos.theoffside.com/