Palmeiras reaches the fourth consecutive Paulista final – 03/19/2023 – Sport

Palmeiras reaches the fourth consecutive Paulista final – 03/19/2023 – Sport

Palmeiras beat Ituano 1-0 this Sunday afternoon (19), at Allianz Parque, in a semifinal match of the Paulista Championship, and will play, for the first time, the fourth consecutive final of the tournament.

The club was State champion in 2020 and 2022 and runner-up in 2021. In addition to reaching the unprecedented mark since 1973, when Paulista started to be decided in finals, Palmeiras also arrived this year, with the best campaign in the competition, at its tenth consecutive appearance in the semifinals of the championship.

Ituano, which fought not to be relegated until the end of the group stage and had the worst campaign among those classified in the quarterfinals of the tournament, surprised by eliminating Corinthians in that stage, but was not able to face the superiority of Palmeiras in this Sunday’s game.

In the first half, Abel Ferreira’s club maintained wide dominance of the match, but struggled to convert, while Ituano resisted the pressure by playing back and betting on the possibility of counterattacks.

The first real chance to score came in the 12th minute, in a cross in the small area by Raphael Veiga, headed by Gabriel Menino.

Goalkeeper Jefferson Paulino played a key role in Ituano’s performance. At 22 of the first half, for example, Paulino stopped a strong finish by Breno Lopes and, between 34 and 36 minutes, made three important saves.

The course of the match began to change at the beginning of the second half. In the 11th minute, Raphael Veiga crossed, Gustavo Gómez deflected and Jefferson Paulino defended, and then defender Murilo hit the back of the net with his head, sealing Palmeiras’ classification.

“We respected it, we knew the difficulty. We were calm, concentrated, we played a good game, doing what Abel asked us to do”, said Murilo shortly after the end of the game. “We’re not going to sit back on what we’ve already achieved. Everyone works, they give their lives. We want more.”

With this Sunday’s classification, the Portuguese coach Abel Ferreira reaches his 11th final ahead of Palmeiras, surpassing the old record of Luiz Felipe Scolari, who led the club in ten decisions. So far, Abel has won six titles and led the club to six runners-up.

Shortly before the start of the game, Mancha Alviverde extended a banner in the stadium’s stands, stamping the message “Keep your promises”, addressed to the club’s board. Organized fans have been protesting against the increase in ticket prices and demanding the hiring of reinforcements.

The second finalist of the Paulista Championship will be defined in the confrontation between Água Santa and Red Bull Bragantino, which will take place at 9 pm this Monday (20) in Vila Belmiro. This is the first time in the century that the semifinals of Paulista have the participation of only one of the four great teams of the state.

The first leg of the championship final is scheduled for 4 pm on April 2nd.

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