Athletico beats Palmeiras and is one draw from the Libertadores final

Athletico-PR came out ahead of Palmeiras in the Libertadores semifinal. This Tuesday (30), Hurricane defeated Verdão, current two-time champion, by 1-0, at Arena da Baixada, in Curitiba. It was the first defeat of the Paulistas in this edition of the competition.

Rubro-Negro from Paraná, which seeks to return to the final of the biggest tournament on the continent after 17 years, has the advantage of a draw in the return match, next Tuesday (6), at 21:30 (Brazilia time), at Allianz Parque , in Sao Paulo. The club alviverde needs to win by two or more goals difference to qualify for the third decision in a row of Libertadores in normal time. If they win by a goal, the decision will be on penalties.

Both teams went to the field modified. Regular starters at Athletico, midfielder David Terans and striker Pablo gave way to Alex Teixeira and Vitor Roque, respectively, in Luiz Felipe Scolari’s lineup. At Palmeiras, with the absences of midfielder Danilo and midfielder Gustavo Scarpa, suspended, Abel Ferreira chose Gabriel Menino and Flaco López. The Argentine took the center of the attack, with Rony on the left wing.

Palmeiras started the game better and would have taken the lead after just five minutes had it not been for the opportunity wasted by Flaco López. The Argentinian scored with fellow striker Dudu, but finished off to the side, in the face of goalkeeper Bento. Athletico fitted the mark and opened the scoring. At 21, Vitor Roque was launched in the area by the side Khellven, dominated and rolled for Alex Santana to turn and kick in the corner, crowning the change promoted by Felipão. Well posted, Rubro-Negro gave little opportunity for Verdão to scare, with the exception of a header by López, in the 43rd minute, after a cross by forward Rony.

Verdão returned from the break pressing Hurricane, who tried to break out in the counterattacks, even finding it more difficult than in the first half. The hosts’ mission took on dramatic contours from the 25th minute, with the expulsion of midfielder Hugo Moura, who waited for a free-kick to be scored and put his hand on the ball, receiving the second yellow card. Three minutes later, Felipão took the red, for complaint. Palmeiras climbed the lines and squeezed Athletico, who held the advantage until the final whistle.

The teams temporarily change the key for the Brazilian Championship and return to the field this Saturday (3), at 19h. Athletico welcomes Fluminense at Arena da Baixada, while Palmeiras faces Red Bull Bragantino at Nabi Abi Chedid stadium, in Bragança Paulista (SP). The duels are valid for the 25th round.

Translated to english by RJ983

From Brazil, by EBC News

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