Sport Recife take the Copa do Brasil 2008!
In an emotional night in the northeast of Brazil, Sport Recife beat giants Corinthians 2×0 to win the Copa do Brasil for the first time in their history.
The 34,000 in the estádio Ilha do Retiro in Recife produced a cracking atmosphere as goals from Carlinhos Bala and Luciano Henrique were enough to overturn Corinthians 3×1 lead from the first leg.
Sport’s reward for their victory: an appearance in next year’s Libertadores.
Corinthian coach Mano Menezes turned 46 on Wednesday but it was his opposite number, Nelsinho Baptista, who did all the celebrating at the end of the match. Corinthians must be sick of Baptista as he was in charge when they were relegated from Série A last year.
The game got off to a fast and furious pace.
Baptista’s men chased down every loose ball and forward Carlinhos Bala in particular, was everywhere.
But the home side failed to create any clear chances in the first half hour and the impetus appeared to have been lost.
But just as it looked as if Corinthians would be able to frustrate Sport at least to half-time, the game suddenly changed.
On the 34th minute, Sport finally got the break through they deserved when Bala latched on to an excellent ball from Luciano Henrique to beat Felipe with a low drive.
And then 3 minutes later, the stadium really erupted when Felipe made a complete hash of Henrique’s speculative ball into the area and Sport went two up.
Corinthians best chances came in injury time when they created two very good opportunities but failed to convert them.
The second period was just as lively. But again, real chances for either team were few and far between.
Half an hour in, the situation worsened for Corinthians after substitute Wellington Saci was sent off after he appeared to kick Bala.
Herrera was the hero in the first leg for the São Paulo team and he would have been elevated to god-like status had he converted his chance on the 82nd minute.
Corinthians then had a penalty appeal turned down when Acosta was through on goal and the on-rushing Magrão appeared to clatter into him. But referee Alicio Pena Júnior was unimpressed.
Was it a penalty? You decide
Corinthians were then reduced to nine men when William was red carded for thumping Bala.
Sport held on for a deserved win. After all, they had done it the hard way knocking out big guns Palmeiras, Internacional, Vasco and now Corinthians along the way.
See the goals here
See a news report of the goals, best moments and celebrations here
Find out more about the Copa do Brasil here