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Sambafoot Sunday: Palmeiras Promoted with Chapecoense in Tow

A look at Brazil's second division with one round of games to go.

Sambafoot Sunday by James Nalton. The beat goes on...

São Paulo side Palmeiras confirmed their promotion from Série B towards the end of October, meeting the minimum expectations of their considerable fan-base in the process.  But the real surprise in Serie B this season has been the performance of Santa Catarina based club, Chapecoense, who will also be spending 2014 in Série A.

Well Done Chaps!

The club from Chapecó were down in the depths of Série D as recently as 2009, and were only promoted to the Brazilian second division for the 2013 season, making this year’s triumph their second promotion in a row.

Their success this season has been thanks in part to the prolific goal-scoring of striker Bruno Rangel, who is out on his own at the top of the Série B goal charts with 30 goals this season – 8 goals ahead of his nearest rival.

This will be the first time they have appeared in the Brazilian top flight since 1979 when the set up of the tournament was markedly different. A total of 94 teams competed in the division in that year, with Chapecoense finishing a lowly 93rd! They will be hoping to avoid a similar experience next year, and will no doubt take heart from the excellent performances of the newly promoted sides in this season’s Série A.

Palmeiras’ Predicament

Whatever Palmeiras did this season, it was never likely to be enough. One of the most successful teams in Brazilian league history slumped to relegation in 2012, in a repeat of their miserable 2002 season when they were also relegated. As they did in 2003, this season has seen them bounce straight back up to the top division, but this was the minimum expectation.

Plenty of media outlets reported on Palmeiras for the first time this season, as their fans booed their 0-0 draw with São Caetano which secured the team’s return to Série A. All this makes for a more viral news piece than your average Série B story, but there have been some bright sparks for Palmeiras on the pitch during this intermission season.

Grêmio loanee Leandro shone as expected. Palmeiras will hope to keep hold of the 20-year-old forward who also made his debut for Brazil this season, scoring a goal against Bolivia in what was his first, and so far only, senior international appearance.

Their top scorer, Alan Kardec, is also on loan at the club and has notched up 14 goals so far. The 24-year-old is on the books at Portuguese club Benfica, but could remain at Palmeiras if the Brazilian club agree to send full-back Luís Felipe the other way as part of the deal. Kardec’s spirit could be vital for them next season in Série A, where they will be expected to do a lot more than simply remain in the division.

Série B Finale

Elsewhere in Série B, there is still plenty to play for with just one round of fixtures remaining. There are a few teams still in with a chance of claiming the last promotion place, with Figueriense currently hanging on to 4th spot.

Below them another team who spent 2012 in Série C, Ceará based club Icasa, will be hoping to follow the lead of Chapecoense and achieve back-to-back promotions. And speaking of Ceará, the club of that name based in Forteleza could also clinch a promotion spot if results go their way. Sport Recife are alread promoted having secured a third place finish.

Down at the bottom Guaratinguetá, Atlético Goianiense, and Paysandu will all be hoping to secure the results they need to avoid relegation. This situation is made all the more intriguing by the fact that Guaratinguetá and Atlético Goianiense play each other, with a draw likely to see both teams remain in the division...


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