Santos back to winning ways with narrow victory over Athletico-PR

Santos closed in on a top-four spot and made a return to winning ways, following a dominant victory against Athletico Paranaense.

The Saints opened the 10th round of the Championship by defeating Athletico-PR 2-1 at Vila Belmiro late on Tuesday, following their loss at the weekend to America-MG.

Faced with one of the league’s top teams, Peixe dominated for the majority of the game and came away with a well-deserved victory thanks to goals from Marcos Guilherme and an own goal from Zé Ivaldo. Fernando Canesin scored for the visitors before the half-time break.

Santos, whose head coach Fernando Diniz was suspended, are now in sixth place on the table, two points ahead of tenth-placed Fluminense, who have a game in hand.

Athletico had the stronger start to the game, creating the most chances, exchanging a few passes frequently, and always seeking for Matheus Babi, who had a header and a shot on target early on.

Santos, on the other hand, were gradually regaining control of the game and had their first good chance when Jean Mota intercepted a pass and swiftly released Marcos Guilherme, whose effort forced a spectacular save from Athletico goalie Santos. Minutes later, the goalkeeper was once again called into action to save Gabriel Pirani’s strike.

Peixe took advantage of Hurricane’s five-man defence as they started finding plays down the flanks, scoring in the 31st minute with Marcos Guilherme. The forward took advantage of a well-placed pass from Madson to find the opener. Athletico equalized on the stroke of halftime, thanks to a goal by Fernando Canesin, who was assisted by Vitinho.

Santos continued to dominate the game in the second half, looking for plays on the left flank, which paid off in the 50th minute when Lucas Braga was able to connect Gabriel Pirani with a cross. However, the forward’s effort was diverted by Zé Ivaldo into his own net.

With a 2-1 lead, Peixe took complete control of the game, denying their opponent any chance of tying the game and claiming all three points.

For their next outing, Santos will play Palmeiras in a derby at Allianz Parque on Saturday, while Athletico hosts Bragantino at Arena da Baixada that same day.

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