In an exciting definition of the Brasileirao, with three teams fighting to save themselves from relegation, the seemingly impossible happened and Santos, two-time world champion and three-time Libertadores champion, lost the category for the first time in its history.
The team that Pelé made great was the best placed of those committed (43 points against 42 for Vasco da Gama and 41 for Bahía) but the 2-1 defeat against Fortaleza at home and the other results ended up condemning it. To make matters worse, the final dagger came after an unusual error by goalkeeper Joao Paulo. With two minutes left to play, he wanted to go to the rival area while a play was going on: his teammates lost it, the ball fell to the Argentine Juan Lucero and, with the goalkeeper very far forward, he hit him from afar to seal the story.
The match almost could not be resumed, given the imminent riots in the stands, the entry of the Brazilian police and the immediate exit of the Fortaleza players through the inflatable tunnel. Meanwhile, the Santos players, with Venezuelan Yeferson Soteldo among them, collapsed on the grass to cry.
Ramon did it
If the sadness was total in São Paulo, the opposite was true in Rio de Janeiro. Vasco da Gama, led by Ramón Díaz and with former Belgrano Pablo Vegetti in attack, started the day with 42 points, one more than Bahía and one less than Santos. Therefore, it depended on himself.
Only at the end came relief for the Rioja team, which started winning with a goal from Paulinho in the 29th minute but suffered a 1-1 draw from Bragantino in the 63rd minute. From there, with Bahía winning and Santos tying, Vasco I was in the relegation zone. However, in the 74th minute Bragantino was left with one less and in the 82nd minute Serginho’s saving header came for the Hill Giant to take the lead.
Ramón took the team on matchday 16, with just 12 points, and raised it to reach the end with a chance to save itself and avoid what would have been the fourth relegation in the last decade. With the score at 2-1 and Santos’ tie, it was already enough for Vasco. Then, with Fortaleza’s goal, the party broke out and Ramón was able to honor his famous video in La Bombonera.
The other one to be saved was Bahía, led by former goal-scorer Rogerio Ceni and initially the most committed of the day, but they gave the grade and beat Atlético Mineiro 4-1, who were fighting for the title.
Palmeiras, champion again
The fact that Mineiro was fighting for the title is barely protocol. The team that had former Boca Cristian Pavón as a starter had to score by seven and hope for a defeat by Palmeiras. But he didn’t even do his own homework.
For its part, Palmeiras tied 1-1 with Cruzeiro with a goal from the super kid Endrick (already bought by Real Madrid) and was crowned champion for the second consecutive time and fourth in the last eight editions.
Thus, the Brasileirao 2024 came to an end with a lot of emotion in the fight for permanence and little at the top, something similar to what has been happening in Argentine soccer. This was only the second time in the last 12 editions that the champion title was defined on the last date. For example, Palmeiras was crowned in 2022 with an 8-point advantage, Mineiro in 2021 with 13 and Flamengo in 2019 with 16. The exception, the fight to the end in 2020 between Flamengo and Inter, which ended with the Cariocas up by just one point.
As in the Copa Libertadores, the Brasileirao also suffers from the disproportionate difference in budget between teams, with a few – and regular ones – fighting for the top positions and many others exchanging places in the lower part of the table.
#Historic #Santos #relegated #Brazil #Ramón #Díazs #Vasco #saved #Rioja #native #honored #famous