One of the biggest astonishments of coach Luís Castro, upon arriving in Brazil, was realizing that the public and the press did not know who Tiquinho Soares was. Of the great seasons held in Portugal, one of them is recent. In 2018/19, he was Porto’s top scorer. He is Botafogo’s best player, leader and sensation of the Brazilian, who overturned Palmeiras’ 31-match unbeaten run at Allianz Parque.
Even though the winning goal move had the luck of the ball cut by Gustavo Gómez hitting the back of Raphael Veiga’s head, before being left to Tiquinho, the striker showed talent from positioning to finishing.
Palmeiras did not play badly, which increases the value of the alvinegro triumph. Luís Castro has already vented about the disregard for Botafogo’s chances, before the Brazilian starts. There were reasons for this. The state campaign, without even qualifying for the semifinals, prevented thinking that the team could follow the current path.
Luís Castro almost always assembles the team with two lines of four and midfielder Eduardo as a second striker, in the same range of the pitch as Tiquinho. Against Palmeiras, in addition to playing ahead, he marked the departure of Richard Rios.
Speed on the sides, with Júnior Santos and Victor Sá, who also have the discipline to block spaces for the opposing sides. Even playing with a fifth man in the front line, Piquerez, Palmeiras had enormous difficulty breaking through the alvinegro’s defensive block.
The only explanation for Botafogo’s good moment is work. Today, the championship has an average of one coach change per round, common, and the unprecedented number of six clubs with coaches for at least one year in charge: América, Botafogo, Fluminense, Fortaleza, Internacional and Palmeiras.
Of all, only America suffers at the bottom of the table.
The recipe is not ready, or Palmeiras would not suffer two consecutive defeats, for the second time in the year. In April, he lost to Água Santa and Bolívar in the week before the state title.
In theory, if there were ten or twelve clubs with long work, the technical level of the championship would be higher.
Not even Palmeiras is out of contention for the title, despite being eight points behind. Not even Botafogo are favorites for the trophy, despite their leadership and the third-best consecutive points campaign at this point.
It is important to note that there is life between teams that are far from the most financially powerful. As Brazil cannot hire the best on the planet and its technical elite does not have a place in the best in Europe, organized teams make a lot of difference.
The rest, too.
It is likely that Palmeiras’ current stage will go through the accumulation of games and their way of playing being known. Botafogo knows how to build the game, when necessary, and respond in counterattacks, when necessary. He almost scored his second goal in an extremely well-done counter-coup and finished close to the crossbar by Victor Sá.
Today, the Brazilian has Botafogo leading and Grêmio vice-leading. The first place won Série B two seasons ago, the gremistas came back from hell just this year. Although it is possible to believe in the reactions of Palmeiras and Flamengo, this moment shows that respect is good. As Luís Castro says, here there is no winner on the eve.
SAO PAULO EQUAL
It is not surprising that Dorival Júnior has exactly the same numbers in 17 matches that Rogério Ceni had. It’s not a coach dispute, but team building. At Morumbi, it is understood that the environment is better. Players are the same. Patience from Botafogo is required.
Even if Luxembourg sees evolution at Corinthians away from home, it is insufficient. It is clear that the same complacency as expected in Morumbi will be required. Only Corinthians disputes the last positions. Athletico-PR ruled the game in the first half. The balance did not resolve in the second.
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