Copa São Paulo: São Paulo run riot on opening night
São Paulo 5-0 União Rondonópolis
São Paulo ran riot in their opening match of the Copinha on Friday night, defeating Mato Grosso side União Rondonópolis 5-0 to lay down a marker.
After a patient start in which the hosts established control in midfield areas, São Paulo slowly ramped up the pressure on their less renowned opponents and the cracks began to open.
The moment that broke the deadlock was more luck than judgement as União centre-back accidently turned the ball into his own net while challenging for a header from a corner.
The second, though, was pure class. The excellent Rodrigo Caio and João Schmidt linked up in midfield, before the latter played an incisive through ball to forward Tiago between the centre-backs. The striker took the ball in his stride before turning sharply and slotting past the helpless keeper.
Schmidt, himself soon added a third from the spot, after the marauding Henrique Miranda was felled on the left of the area to win a penalty.
Even before half-time, São Paulo added a fourth to put the match beyond doubt. Henrique Miranda once more advanced from full-back to cross from the left, which attacking midfielder Fábio Lima turned against the post. Luckily for the Paulista side, striker Adelino was on hand to turn home the rebound.
After the break, the match drifted slowly towards its inevitable conclusion, with Rodrigo Caio and João Schmidt continuing to dominate.
The icing on the cake was added midway through the half when Fábio Lima finally got his name on the scoresheet, picking up on a loose ball and neatly making room for a shot past Thiago Neves in the União net. A convincing win for São Paulo.
Man of the Match: João Schmidt (São Paulo) - Alongside Rodrigo Caio, Schmidt dictated play for São Paulo from his central-midfield role, with the duo clearly several levels above their opposition. Schmidt was the more adventurous of the two, setting up Tiago for his goal and also scoring with a well-struck penalty kick.
São Paulo XI: Felipe Passoni; Lucas Farias, Diego, Marcelo, Henrique Miranda; Allan, Rodrigo Caio, João Schmidt, Fábio Lima; Tiago, Adelino.
União XI: Thiago Neves; Eliézer Júnior, Schmitt, Franklin, Fernando; Jorge Raphael, Isaac, Euller, Rocha; Brandão, Mateus.
Elsewhere in Group M: São Carlos 1-0 Guaicurus (Eberson)