Santos stars gracious in Ituano defeat
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.