No Comments

Santos stages late comeback against Bahia and breathes in the fight against the relegation zone

Santos vira sobre o Bahia

On a absolutely crazy Monday, Bahia hosted Santos at their home, Arena Fonte Nova, and missed the chance to open a 7-point gap over Peixe, their direct competitor in the fight against relegation.

Santos vira jogo sobre o Bahia e sobrevive no Brasileiro


The Match

Before discussing how the match between Santos and Bahia unfolded, it’s necessary to provide some context about the importance of this game for both teams.

Bahia had recently sacked Portuguese coach Renato Paiva and appointed former São Paulo goalkeeper and legend, Rogério Ceni, as his replacement. Ceni was available in the market since leaving São Paulo.

In his debut, the team delivered an impressive performance, defeating Coritiba 4-2 at Couto Pereira. Coritiba, like Santos, Bahia, Vasco, Goiás, and América-MG, is in the battle against relegation. So, the result was crucial.

The Peixe, on the other hand, was facing its biggest crisis in the club’s history. They had suffered a humiliating 3-0 defeat to Cruzeiro in the previous game at Vila Belmiro.

Following that loss, Santos’s board fired coach Diego Aguirre after just five games in charge. Marcelo Fernandes, a familiar face to the fans and the club, was appointed as his replacement.

Marcelo Fernandes has a long history with the club, having played for Santos, served as an assistant coach, and even won the São Paulo State Championship as the head coach in 2016.

In terms of the league table, Bahia had 25 points after the victory over Coritiba, while the Peixe remained at 21 points after the loss to Cruzeiro. Santos was the first team inside the relegation zone.

Therefore, if Bahia won, they would open a 7-point gap over Santos and significantly improve their chances of avoiding relegation. Santos, on the other hand, would practically seal their relegation for the first time with a loss.

As for the match, Santos made a significant change before kickoff. Marcelo Fernandes surprised everyone by fielding the team with three center-backs.

He arranged the backline with Joaquim (who was a backup to Messias), João Basso, and full-back Dodô. He positioned Rincón as a defensive midfielder focused on marking and Jean Lucas with the physical strength to advance. On the wings, Lucas Braga and Kevyson, a young talent from the academy, were deployed. Lucas Lima played in the playmaking role, and Soteldo partnered with Marcos Leonardo upfront.

Pelé’s club had a frenetic start to the game. Marcos Leonardo hit the post with a powerful shot just 20 seconds into the match, although he was offside.

Shortly after, Marcos Leonardo himself used his pelvis to redirect the ball toward the goal, but Bahia’s goalkeeper Marcos Felipe made an impressive save.

Santos dominated the game for the first 25 minutes, piling up chances one after another. Jean Lucas had a two-on-one opportunity with the Bahia defense but made a poor decision. Later in the first half, Lucas Lima received the ball in the six-yard box from Soteldo but failed to score.

From the 25th minute onwards, Bahia started to balance the game in terms of intensity, and Santos’ dominance dwindled.

However, the first half ended without any goals.

Marcos Leonardo e Furch acreditam em permanência do Santos na Série A

Image: Marcio Roberto/Agencia F8/Gazeta Press

In the second half, Bahia displayed much more organization. In true Rogério Ceni style, they held and circulated the ball to control Santos’ attacking momentum. At the 59th minute, Bahia passed the ball around at the edge of the box until it reached full-back Camilo Cândido, who unleashed a rocket into the top corner. 1-0.

The expectation was that, as in previous games, Santos would become destabilized after conceding a goal, but that was not the case.

Although Santos didn’t panic, they found their equalizer through aerial plays. Clearly rehearsed, Soteldo delivered a central free-kick that found defender Joaquim at the far post, who headed the ball back into the middle of the box. Marcos Leonardo charged in with his head to level the score.

Bahia tried to press Santos, but the team defended well. This allowed Santos to find space for counterattacks.

In injury time, Santos had a corner kick, which Jean Lucas took quickly. It was a repeat of the first goal. Joaquim won the header and directed it toward Julio Furch, who had come on as a substitute for Marcos Leonardo a short while ago. The Argentine striker controlled the ball with his chest and clinically slotted it in with his left foot to complete the comeback for Santos.

These are the final numbers of the match.

Goleadores contra o Bahia, Marcos Leonardo e Furch acreditam em permanência na Série A: 'Santos não vai cair'

Image: Lance!

The Future for Santos and Bahia

With the defeat, Bahia remains outside the relegation zone, but the first team below them is Goiás, which has one less game played.

Bahia missed a significant opportunity to distance themselves from the relegation zone and lost a crucial head-to-head match in the fight.

Their next match is against Flamengo at the Maracanã on September 30, 2023. It could be a good opportunity for a victory, as Flamengo would have played the Copa do Brasil final against São Paulo just six days earlier, and depending on the result, they may choose to rest some key players.

Ceni lamenta erros defensivos do Bahia: 'Faltou um pouco de comunicação'

Image: Felipe Oliveira/EC Bahia

Santos faces another six-point match. Their opponent is Vasco da Gama, who are just below them in the standings.

A win for Santos would not only push Vasco further into the relegation zone but also give Peixe a chance to escape the bottom four, provided that Bahia and Goiás win their respective matches as well.

However, the reverse is also true. If Santos loses to Vasco at home, they will sink further into a difficult situation and may even be overtaken by Vasco if they win their game in hand.

Who will escape relegation? Santos, Vasco, Bahia? Share your thoughts!

Follow us on social networks to stay updated on the latest foreign football news and exclusivesInstagramFacebook e Twitter.

Written by Vitor F L Miller.

Latest articles
Tags: Brasileirao

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.