Brazilian legends reflect on 13-goal thriller between Santos and Palmeiras 55 years ago
Former Palmeiras striker Mazzola and Santos idols Pepe and Zito have reflected on the 13-goal thriller between their sides exactly 55 years ago today.
The two clubs clashed at the Pacaembu on Thursday 6 March 1958 with little more than pride on offer, given that they were already out of contention for Torneio Rio-São Paulo glory.
Palmeiras scored the first goal of the game courtesy of Urias, before Pelé equalised and Pagou put Santos 2-1 ahead.
Nardo restored parity but the Peixe then took control of the game as Dorval, Pepe and Pagao sent them in at half-time with a seemingly unassailable 5-2 cushion.
Zito recalled: "I said in the dressing room, ‘They can reverse five, but ten [goals] and they’re done. Let’s destroy Palmeiras today."
Mazzola said: "Our goalkeeper Edgar started crying during the interval. He said, ‘I can’t go back out’, so our coach Brandao had to send on Vitor, who was a young reserve."
The young goalkeeper frustrated Santos’ attackers after the restart, while the Verdão pulled one back through Paulinho, before a quick-fire Mazzola brace levelled the scores at 5-5.
Then the game took another twist as Urias fired Palmeiras in front to complete a miracle comeback with little over ten minutes remaining.
However, there was another comeback on the cards as the 43,000-plus fans witnessed Pepe grab two goals to snatch Santos a breathtaking 7-6 victory.
Pepe said: "Scoring with my right foot or my head was very,very rare for me, and I managed both in the same match. And it was one of the greatest games in Brazilian football history."
As the final whistle blew, both sets of supporters gave the players, who embraced one another, a standing ovation.
Mazzola, who become known in Italy as Jose Altafini, concluded: "It was unbelievable. I still have supporters coming up to me in the street to talk about that game. Nobody will forget it."
Later that year Mazzola, Pelé, Pepe and Zito travelled to Sweden and delivered Brazil its first FIFA World Cup title.