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Santos stars gracious in Ituano defeat

Thiago Ribeiro was honest in his assessment
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Santos players have gracefully congratulated Ituano on their Paulista state final win but not without suggesting that the title was thrown away by the favourites after losing the first leg 1-0.

Yesterday's return match saw the same scoreline in reverseand a 7-6 penalty shootout triumph for Ituano meant Santos missed out on a 22nd regional win as well as a boost ahead of the Brasileiro which starts this coming weekend.

Midfielder Thiago Ribeiro told reporters: "No doubt we were favourites, but we couldn't do it in this game. Today we fought; if we had done that in both games we would have gone home with the title."

Teammate Cicero echoed the sentiment: "Penalties are a lottery and Ituano was happier. It was a deserved title for Ituano, I have to say."

Santos must pick temselves up fast, as they face a Copa do Brasil game against Mixto in midweek (having drawn the first leg 0-0) before facing Sport recife in the first Brasileiro game on Sunday.


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