The finalists of Paulistão, Mineirão and Cariocão are defined
Palmeiras 1 x 0 Ituano
Palmeiras again confirmed its favoritism, and secured a place in the final for the fourth consecutive year, after beating Ituano on Sunday afternoon at Allianz Parque.
In a game of total dominance by Verdão, Ituano’s highlight was goalkeeper Jefferson Paulino, who made several saves and prevented a more elastic score. Palmeiras had 64% of ball possession, 25 shots, 11 of which were in the direction of the goal, while Ituano finished just 1 time on target.
Despite the constant pressure, from the beginning, the goal of the game only came out in the second half, with center-back Murilo. After Raphael Veiga’s free-kick, Gustavo Gómez demanded another beautiful save from Jefferson Paulino, and in the sequence, after the opposing defender’s touch, Murilo scored with a header. In the move, Ituano complained about the lack of the Paraguayan in Lucas Siqueira, for supporting himself when trying to head, but VAR confirmed the goal.
Leaving behind the scoreboard, Ituano even risked pressure, but without any effect. In the match, Palmeiras continued to create the best chances, even with the advantage on the scoreboard.
In the finals, which will be played on April 2nd and 9th, Palmeiras will face Água Santa and the second game of the confrontation will be at Allianz Parque, as Verdão has the best campaign in the competition.
Água Santa 1 (4×2) 1 Bragantino
Água Santa, a team without national division in 2023, made history by defeating Bragantino on penalties and reaching the final of the country’s main state championship.
Diadema’s team only became professional in 2011, but only played their first official match in 2013. A decade after the first official game, the team is trying to win its first professional title.
In a very physical game, with a lot of disposition, Bragantino took the lead in the first minutes with Alerrandro finishing by Backheel. Despite the pressure exerted by the team from Bragança, Água Santa did not give up.
At the beginning of the second stage, it reached a tie, with a bizarre failure by goalkeeper Cleiton. After the pressure from the attack, the goalkeeper tried to dribble, but the ball was left to Lucas Tocantins who pushed it into the back of the net.
In the penalty shootout, Cleiton saved the first penalty kicked by Bruno Mezenga, but Massa Bruta missed the next two penalties, while Água Santa didn’t waste any more kicks and secured their place in the final.
The finals will be played on April 2nd and 9th against Palmeiras and the second game of the confrontation will be at Allianz Parque, as Verdão has the best campaign in the competition.
Atlético-MG 1 x 0 Athletic
After the defeat by Athletic in the first leg in São João del Rei by 1 x 0, Galo recovered and won the confrontation in the return by the same score. As it had the best campaign, the simple victory was enough for Atlético-MG to reach the state final for the 17th consecutive time.
The game was balanced, and after a first half of few emotions, Athletic’s defense failed, Paulinho put pressure on the opponent at the beginning of the second half, and the ball was left for Hulk to dribble the goalkeeper to define the match.
The visitors complained about a penalty involving goalkeeper Everson and left-back Nathan. On the move, the goalkeeper kicked and, after hitting the ball, stretched out his arm and hit Nathan’s face with his hand. On the field, the judge did not give the penalty, however the VAR called him for review recommending to score a penalty and expel Everson. The judge, however, analyzed the bid for long minutes, but did not agree and let the game go on.
The finals will take place on April 1st and 8th, against América-MG.
América-MG 2 x 1 Cruzeiro
América-MG wins Cruzeiro once again and reaches the final, increasing its taboo on the rival. It’s already ten games of invincibility.
Cruzeiro started the game by pressing and running after the loss, as they had lost the first match by 2 x 0, but it was América-MG that gave the first goal, with Aloísio, taking a free kick and opening the scoring for Coelho. In the second half, Lucas Oliveira equalized with his head, but at the very end, Alê scored the second for América-MG and sealed the result.
The defeat aggravated the crisis at Cruzeiro and coach Paulo Pezzolano resigned on Sunday night. However, the Celeste team acted quickly in the market and announced on Monday the hiring of Portuguese coach Pedro Miguel Marques da Costa Filipe, 42 years old, known as Pepa.
The finals will take place on April 1st and 8th, against Atlético-MG.
Vasco 1 x 3 Flamengo
Flamengo is in the Carioca Championship decision for the fifth consecutive time. After beating Vasco again, Rubro-Negro confirmed its favoritism, with a gala performance by striker Pedro.
The game started very studied, with the teams being intense in each dispute for the ball. Pedro opened the scoring, kicked from the edge of the area, the ball deflected off Jair and killed goalkeeper Léo Jardim. Vasco, who needed a victory after having lost the first game by 3 x 2, went ahead and tied with Capasso, after Piton’s corner kick.
In the second stage, Cruz-Maltino came back better and kept pressing in search of a draw, however Flamengo scored, thanks to the changes promoted by Vítor Pereira, booed by the fans at the time. Rodrigo lost the ball to Matheus França, who advanced at speed and suffered a penalty from Capasso. Pedro charged and put Rubro-Negro in front.
Finally, Ayrton Lucas still extended with category and a lot of speed, after receiving a pass from Pedro.
The finals will be played on April 2nd and 9th, against Fluminense, repeating the last four state finals.
Fluminense 7 x 0 Volta Redonda
Fluminense had a magical afternoon on Saturday. Diniz’s team dominated the match from the first minutes, imposed their pace and left no chances for Volta Redonda.
The biggest highlight of the match was striker Cano, who scored 4 goals, becoming the fifth foreigner with the most goals for Tricolor. Samuel Xavier, in a great match, Martinelli and Alexsander completed the result.
The finals will be played on April 2nd and 9th, against Flamengo, repeating the last four state finals.