Palmeiras take advantage after beating Grêmio in the first leg of the Copa do Brasil
Palmeiras have one foot on the Copa do Brasil title after claiming a win over Grêmio in search of silverware.
Current holders of the Libertadores title, it was not a straightforward win and Verdão had to dig deep to take the victory.
Gustavo Gomez had the decisive moment of the game and scored the only goal of the encounter just on the half hour mark. The defender rose highest to head past Victor following a corner kick from Raphael Veiga. Palmeiras were in the ascendency for most of the game until a certain scenario changed the course of the game.
In a rash moment from Luan, the Verdão defender had a tussle with Diego Souza and elbowed the forward in the process. The Grêmio star even had his face covered in blood.
Referee Marcelo de Lima Henrique initially brought out a yellow card but then switched it to red almost immediately.
With a one man advantage, Grêmio took hold of the game, especially after Ferreira came on from the bench. Tricolor had three chances to grab their equalizer but Palmeiras remained resolute in defence and managed to hold on to their lead and victory at the end of the day.
The victory means even a draw in the return leg next Sunday will see Palmeiras clinch the trophy. On the other hand, a 1-0 win for Grêmio will see the game go into penalties while a win with at least two goals difference will hand them the trophy.
Both teams have games in midweek and will begin their quest in the state championships. Palmeiras face a classic match against Corinthians on Wednesday for the Paulista while Grêmio hosts Brasil de Pelotas at the Arena for the Campeonato Gauchão.