2017 State championship review

Paulo Guerrero: top scorer in Rio (Mowa Press)

Love em or hate em, last weekend saw the state championships come to a close. If you have no idea what I’m on about and would like to know more about Brazil’s state championship system – what they mean, when they run and how they work – check out Brazilfooty’s state championship primer. For a short wrap of all the key results and events across the main states on the final day of this year’s state championship calendar, read on.

Paulo Guerrero was the star of the show for Flamengo in Rio. Not only did he score a goal in Sunday’s final, but he scored another nine in the competition, finishing top scorer and helping his team win the title. They beat Fluminense 2-1 on Sunday following a 1-0 a week earlier in the first leg. Rodinei also scored for Flamengo and was enjoying his goal celebration until a cheeky fan grabbed his shirt and refused to give it back. The fan eventually returned the shirt. The next day! In a television studio! For this, and other funny videos, check out the new ‘moment of the week’ page of this blog.

Although Fluminense lost, they will take heart from their performances in the competition. Everybody was writing them off before the competition began and they ended up playing some good football and unleashing a few good young players like Richarlison and Wendel – young player of the tournament.

Another notable event from Sunday’s final was the appearance of Vasco’s coach in the crowd, sat among the Flamengo fans. He came in for a bit of stick once they recognised him, but it seemed to be all good natured. Fair play all round.

Corinthians took the title in São Paulo after beating Ponte Preta 4-1 on aggregate. Ponte Preta had done a great job to get to the final, knocking out Santos and Palmeiras on the way. But Corinthians halted their progress and silenced their critics with some solid, albeit unspectacular, performances and another trophy.

Atlético Mineiro won the bragging rights in Minas Gerais by beating Cruzeiro in the final there. They won the second leg 2-1 after drawing 0-0 in the first leg. The former seleçao players Robinho and Elias scored for Atlético, while Fred, also ex-seleçao, started up front for Atlético.

Novo Hamburgo (New Hamburg) won the state title in Rio Grande do Sul for the first time in their history. After dumping out state giants Gremio in the semis, on penalties, they only went and did it again in the final, beating Internacional, again on penalties.

Coritiba will take the bragging rights in the state of Parana, following a comprehensive 3-0 win over city rivals Atlético-PR. In Pernambuco, favourites Sport could only muster a 1-1 draw with Salgueiro (a team I had never previously heard of) at home in the first leg of the final. That in itself was pretty uneventful and newsworthy, but it was the first time that a professional match in Brazil has had a video referee. That was all going fine, until the last minute when the ref awarded a dubious penalty. The decision was referred to the video ref and after a five minute review, the video team upheld the referee’s initial decision. Penalty. Decide for yourself:

I am in favour of video reviews but this was a very sticky start. It was a difficult decision, and it took way too long. And after all that, they got the decision wrong in my opinion. Unsurprisingly, this was also the opinion of Sport coach Ney Franco.

A representative from Fifa did attend the match and was happy with how it was done, although he recognised the need for some improvements. Watch this space then. Video replays coming to a Championship near you?

Chapecoense won the Catarinense State Championship for the second year in a row. Although they lost the second leg of their final against Avaí 1-0, which made the aggregate scores 1-1, Chapecoense’s superior record earlier on in the competition saw them crowned Champions.

There was a similar situation in the state of Bahia where Vitória and Bahia fought out a 0-0 bore draw in the second leg of the final. The first leg was also a draw, 1-1, but Vitória, like Chapecoense in the Catarinense final, took the win thanks to their superior record in the rest of the competition.

That’s all then folks. In case you missed my post the other day, check it out: Brazilfooty is back. What’s been going on? Where has it been? And what’s in store? Watch out for a Serie A preview before the weekend.

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