Palmeiras leave it late to beat Santo Andre and advance to the Paulista semi-finals

In a game below average, Palmeiras beat Santo André by 2 goals to 0 on Wednesday night, in their arena and advanced to the semifinal of Pãulistao. The goals came only at the end and were scored by Felipe Melo and Marcos Rocha.
Cesar Greco / Palmeiras
© Cesar Greco / Palmeiras

It wasn’t a straightforward victory as Verdão suffered to create dangerous moves, took some scares and seemed to direct the decision to penalties. However, the team is now three games away from lifting a title they haven’t won since 2008.

Palmeiras boasted most possession of the game but failed to do much with the chances they created against Santo Andre. The Verdão even hit 74% ball possession at a time but they were clearly lacking a midfielder to break the lines in the final third. Palmeiras did more of holding play and tried long passes that ultimately left them with little chances of opening the scoring. The first half ended that way.

The second half started in similar fashion and looked like it was going the same direction and headed for penalties until the latter stages of the game. But there was a still lot of drama to come late on.

With Palmeiras building slowly on the pressure, it was inevitable they’d get a goal of their own. In the 88th minuteFelipe Melo took advantage of Scarpa’s cross from a corner-kick and opened the scoring. The game was put beyond doubt when Marcos Rocha added a second in the 4th minute of extra time to seal the win for Vanderlei Luxemburgo and company.

With the 2-0 victory, Palmeiras will take on Ponte Preta on Sunday as they find themselves two steps away from lifting the Paulistao title.

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