Monday, 2 May 2011

Campeonato Paulista A1 - Semi Finals

São Paulo 0-2 Santos LinkPalmeiras 1-1 Corinthians
Corinthians advances 6-5 after penalty competition

In the Saturday semi final the Premier Sports TV viewers saw Santos remain on course to retain their title after a 2-0 victory over São Paulo put them into the final. In an open and entertaining game with chances a plenty it took Santos an hour to finally break down the São Paulo defence, Elano was unmarked at the back post and headed home. Twelve minutes later the lead was doubled when Neymar's cross found Paulo Henrique Ganso and he fired the ball past a stationary Rogério Ceni in the São Paulo goal. Moments later Neymar should have wrapped things up but fired over the bar when one on one with Ceni and then Fernando wasted a golden opportunity to get São Paulo back into the game when he somehow headed Rivaldo's cross wide. Santos held on and will now attempt to win their 20th Paulistão.

In the live Premier Sports TV Sunday semi-final with the rain pouring at the Pacaembu, Corinthains advances to the final after a incident packed victory over Palmeiras on penalties. The flash point came half way through the first half when Danilo was sent off for a studs up challenge on Liédson. It sparked a mass of players around the referee and two minute later Felipão was sent to the stands for continuing the arguments and having a running battle with Tite, the coach of Corinthians. Five minutes after the break Marcos Assunção hit the post with a free kick before Leandro Amaro put the ten men of Palmeiras ahead two minutes later. Corinthains were level again twelve minutes later when Willian was left unmarked at the back post from a corner and he headed home. So with the teams level at the end of regulation the game went to a penalty competition. After both sides were perfect with their opening five penalties the game went to sudden death. Júlio César then made the save to put Corinthians in the box seat before the next penalty hit the back of the net to put Corinthians into the final. Kléber of Palmeiras came out post game a criticised the officials on his Twitter account, nothing like a bad loser.

The final is over two legs, the first of which takes place at the Pacaembu next weekend before the return at the Vila Belmiro a week later.

In the Troféu do Interior, Oeste will meet Ponte Preta in the final after they defeated Mirassol 1-0. Ponte Preta qualified after winning a penalty competition after a goalless draw with São Caetano.

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