If you thought that the entire show had been carried off by Flamengo and Corinthians, Atlético Mineiro against Palmeiras made great merits to be “the” first leg of the quarterfinals of the Copa Libertadores. In Mineirao, Galo and Verde repeated the semifinal of the last edition. And they did not disappoint.
In Belo Horizonte, Atlético Mineiro was superior to Palmeiras, they were able to thrash them, but Verde tied them 2-2 in the last ball. Matías Zaracho was a starter at the venue, while José López was also a starter on the visit. And Nacho Fernández joined Cuca’s team in the second half.
Murilo, from villain to hero in a few minutes. (AFP)
The Galo was lord and master of the first 45′, to the point of not letting Palmeiras pass the middle of the field. After 13 shots (nine outside, three blocked, but only one on goal), the reward came to Cuca after 12 steps. At 46’PT, and after a clear infringement by Marcos Rocha on Jair, Hulk converted the maximum penalty into a goal and brought justice to a scoreboard that was far from reflecting the development of the match. I was about to hit him…
And started the plugin as to do it. Starting with a great collective play on the left, Keno hit a poisonous back pass and, in an attempt to get the ball out, Murilo ended up scoring against his own fence. What he deserved during the beginning, the Galo had it in a blast: at the end of the PT and at the beginning of the ST. Palmeiras didn’t see it coming…
Mineiro played it like a final, but it got away from him. (REUTERS)
But Abel Ferreira formed a period team, which was not going to give up easily, with mystique. And despite the fact that a historic win was coming, the current two-time champion of America ended up making every effort to tie it before the final whistle.. First, through Murilo himself, who took advantage of a free kick that he hit the crossbar. Then, with a header from Danilo, he defeated the humanity of Everton in the last breath.
And so, with more willpower than great footballing level, Palmeiras take a huge 2-2 to San Pablo, when the series seemed practically settled, and remain the only undefeated in the Libertadores. For the Miner, a tie with defeat. But, for the neutrals, a real show.
AMDEP5370. BELO HORIZONTE (BRAZIL), 08/03/2022.- Coach Alexi Stival?? ‘Cuca’ (l) from Mineiro today, in a Copa Libertadores match between Atlético Mineiro and Palmeiras at the stadium in Mineirao in Belo Horizonte (Brazil). EFE/Yuri Edmundo