Palmeiras beat Ceará 3-0 and are one step away from the Copa do Brasil semifinals
The goals came in towards the end of the first half. Gustavo Scarpa opened the scoring in the 34th minute, Raphael Veiga added the second in the 37th minute and Gabriel Veron completed it two minutes later. Those moments decided a duel that until then was balanced and of few chances.
Ceará felt the blow and little threat in the second stage.
They now need a rout at home to turn the confrontation and qualify.
Palmeiras boss Abel Ferreira found solutions even without almost an entire team of players including Weverton, Gabriel Menino, Luan, Gustavo Gómez, Viña, Felipe Melo, Wesley and Luiz Adriano. Names that had been appearing sparingly stood out such as Gustavo Scarpa as well as Danilo and Gabriel Veron. In addition to the advantage, the victory showed the Portuguese coach that the squad is full of good options to call upon. The only sour news on the day was that Zé Rafael sprained his ankle and had to be replaced.
Palmeiras and Ceará will face each other next Wednesday at Arena Castelão for the return game of the quarterfinals. Ceará needs to win by four goals difference to advance in normal time. Victory by three takes the decision to penalties.
Palmeiras can even lose by two goals and still qualify. Whoever qualifies to the semis will face the winner of the game between Internacional and América-MG.