Palmeiras Top Atlético Nacional in Wild Shootout Victory
Jailson’s save on the 20th penalty kick secured a 10-9 shootout win for Palmeiras over Atlético Nacional in the second game of the Florida Cup on Wednesday night before a weekday record crowd of 7,837. The incredible shootout where no one could miss came after both teams tied 0-0 following regulation. The players’ penalty-taking accuracy could be a positive sign for coaches Vanderlei Luxemburgo and Juan Carlos Osorio as they approach International play in the coming months where penalties could be vital.
Palmeiras and Atlético met for the first time since the 2006 Copa Libertadores. Palmeiras opened the game by fielding a strong eleven while Nacional started a majority of their top side. Dudu, Bruno Henrique, and Luiz Adriano led the attack for Palmeiras with new center back pairing of World Cup veteran Felipe Melo and Brasilerão Team of the Year honoree Gustavo Gomez in central defense. Felipe Melo played his first game in his new role in an attempt to preserve the former midfielder’s legs ahead of another lengthy competitive season. Nacional led with Daniel Muñoz and Helibelton Palacios in the back and Vladamir Hernández on the wing opposite new signing Andrés Andrade.
The game opened at a blistering pace with a stinging shot from Dudu seconds into the game that stuck in Nacional keeper Aldius Quintana’s chest. The action continued with a number of chances, including Andrade’s well-driven strike that forced Weverton into a sprawling save in the 6th minute. Throughout much of the first half, there was quick and decisive attacking play from both teams. Dudu brought the fans to their feet when his double stepover left a Nacional defender on the ground, but the ensuing first-time shot by Lucas Lima was stopped by Quintana.
Spirited Nacional fans in the supporters section at Exploria Stadium provided a steady flow of energy for the Colombian club, but Palmeiras maintained most of the possession while Nacional worked the counter-attack. With a number of hard tackles and a few late challenges early, the game resembled more of a mid-season performance than a friendly just over one week into preseason.
The second half saw a complete change for Palmeiras, with veterans Ramires and Zé Rafael leading youngsters Gabriel Veron, Gabriel Menino, and Wesley. Nacional changed some of its lineup with Jarlan Barrera entering alongside newcomers Jéfferson Duque and Déinner Quiñones. Barrera nearly broke the game open early in the second half when Jailson was caught away from goal, but his chip over the Palmeiras goalkeeper fell wide. Gabriel Menino’s long-range strike was tipped over the bar by Jose Cuadrado, and in the 66th minute, Zé Rafael forced another Cuadrado save. Palmeiras carried play for much of the final twenty minutes. Veron’s chance with three minutes remaining looked to be the game winner, but his curled shot from wide left just missed the far post. Less than a minute later, Menino appeared to have been taken down from behind, but without a penalty.
After the game, Palmeiras coach Vanderlei Luxenburgo said he was pleased with his team’s performance after a morning training session. “We played against a well-trained team used to playing important South American games. The team played forty-five minutes hard and felt no wear. It was good.” Luxemburgo also spoke about leaving out two players, Matheus Fernandes and Gustavo Scarpa, who are both in negotiations with Barcelona and Almeria respectively. “It would be irresponsible to place and have an injury, and the sale cancelled.” He also praised the play of Lucas Lima, who was an influential presence throughout the first half.
Rocha- Palmeiras- 16’
Gomez- Palmeiras- 34’
Duque- Nacional 70’
21- Weverton, 2-Marcos Rocha, 30- Felipe Melo (Captain), 6- Diogo Barbosa, 45- Patrick De Paula, 19- Bruno Henrique, 7- Dudu, 20- Lucas Lima, 10- Luiz Adriano, 23- Raphael Veiga
42- Jailson, 72- Vinicius, 12- Mayke, 13- Luan, 34- Emerson Santos, 26- Victor Luis, 48- Gabriel Menino, 18- Ramires, 47- Gabriel Veron, 8- Zé Rafael, , 29- Willian, 49- Wesley, 44- Pedro, 46- Lucas Esteves, 40- Alan
1-Quintina, 2- Muñoz (Captain), 13 Palacios, 5- Braghieri, 32- Mafla, 14- Perlaza, 27- Gómez, 10- Andrade, 11- Moreno, 17- González, 16- Hernández
Subs:6- Cuadrado, 25- Uribe, 3- Fury, 6- Goez, 7- Barrera, 8- Rovira, 9- Duque, 20- Torres, 23- Quiñones, 26- Yabor, 29- Velasquez, 33-Mosquera, 34- Cordoba