Wednesday night’s round-of-32 of the Copa do Brasil saw a glut of goals as Santos, Ponte Preta, Fluminenese, Botafogo, Juventude and Atlético Paranaense all booked their places in the last-16 of Brazil’s biggest knock-out competition.
Last week saw Santos travel to the Distrito Federal, drawing 0-0 with massive underdogs Gama after missing a hat full of chances. Yesterday’s return leg, however, saw no such problems in front of goal with the return of veteran marksman Ricardo Oliveira to the starting line-up. Santos ran out comfortable 3-0 winners thanks to the Brazil striker’s hat-trick, the first a lovely finish into the top corner after cutting inside onto his right foot and the other two coming from the spot. It was a game that went much as expected, dominated from start to finish by the men from the São Paulo port city.
In an all Série A clash in Santa Catarina, Chapecoense took on Atlético Paranaense after their 0-0 draw in the first leg. Chapecoense opened the scoring in just the fourth minute with a weak effort from Lucas Gomes that should have been stopped by Weverton in the Atlético net. Eleven minutes after the break though, o Furacão equalised through centre-forward Walter, who is a throwback to a time when visibly overweight and top-level professional footballer weren’t mutually exclusive states of being. Atlético survived some late pressure to get the draw and take themselves through after scoring the only away goal of the tie.
Elsewhere Ponte Preta hammered Figueirense 5-0 after another 0-0 first leg. Ponte struck early through a terrific goal from Thiago Galhardo after some sublime work down the left by the pacy Rhayner and didn’t look back. They put a Figueirense side who are struggling in the league to the sword. Another goal followed before half time before 3 more, including a second for Galhardo, in the second half sent the home fans away happy and Ponte into the draw for the next round.
The two Rio big boys Botafogo and Fluminense also put themselves into the hat after overcoming lesser opposition. Botafogo, who had drawn 2-2 in the away leg with Bragatino of Série B, managed a 1-0 win after a lovely dinked goal from Vinícius Tanque ten minutes from time. It was a successful first cup game in Botafogo’s new home stadium, three sides of which appear to be entirely constructed from Meccano.
In the other game Fluminense despatched Série C’s Ypiranga-RS by two goals to nothing after another drawn first leg. Goals from Magno Alves and Cícero, making up for the penlty he missed in the first leg, were enough to seal a fairly comfortable victory for the Tricolor. Wellington Silva, recently returned from his jaunt in England with Arsenal and Bolton, came on in the second half a made a substantial impact on the game.
Lastly, in a tie that ensured more lower division representation in the last-16, Série C’s Juventude beat Paysandu of Série B 1-2 in somewhat of a shock, after the first leg had resulted in yet another 0-0 draw at Juvetude’s home ground. The men from Caixas do Sul are turning into the story of this year’s cup having vanquished Coritiba in the previous round.
These teams will join Vasco da Gama, Botafogo-PB and Cruzeiro, who all qualified for the next round last week, as well as the top-six from last year’s Série A, who qualify automatically for last-16 draw.