Corinthians – Club 4 – Season 2 – Update 9
Welcome back to the final update of this season with Corinthians. Today we play in the Copa Sudamerica final as we search for our third continental trophy, although not the competition we are after for this challenge unfortunately. We also hold out a little hope that Flamengo might bottle their 5 point lead in the league and we might be able to capitalise.
The first, and probably most important game, of this update was the Copa Sudamerica final against Gremio, in what was my first realistic chance at winning a trophy in Brazil. Gremio sat in third place in the league going into this game, so we were fairly evenly matched, but I had confidence that my players would turn up for the big game despite our recent struggles.
Things couldn’t really have gone much worse in the first half hour however as we weathered a 24 minute storm from Gremio before they found the back of the net twice in as many minute to put them in the driving seat. I knew we would likely need a goal before half time if we were going to have a chance of winning the game so we switch things up a little and were rewarded as Mosquera was tripped in the area and brushed himself down to dispatch of the penalty just before half time. 2-1 down at half time wasn’t too bad and we seemed to have turned the tide after our changes so I was confident we could find an equaliser in the second 45 minutes.
We came out of the block firing and had plenty of chances to draw level but didn’t seem to have brought our shooting boots until academy graduate Matheusao, thrown on as a last ole of the dice, found the net after a goalmouth scramble with 11 minutes left to play. We continued to look for the winner, but extra time loomed to separate the teams and neither team could find a winner in the remainder of the match or the additional 30 minutes of time.
Penalties it was and what a way to decide a continental final! Our penalty takers on the pitch weren’t the best, shown by the fact we had a right back and centre back in our first 5 takers, but we were helped when Gremio missed their first kick to ease the pressure a little. We got into a 3-2 lead, but Barcia blazed wide to open the door for Gremio to draw level at 3 penalties a piece. Fortunately, Casagrande was on form and kept of Joao Jose’s left footed kick with a strong hand down to his left hand side. That meant the Vito stepped up to win the game and the cup for Corinthians and he dispatched calmly down the middle to hand us the trophy!
A fantastic win, especially given that we were 2 goals down in the final and our recent form. At least we can take one positive away from this season now with another trophy to add to my collection.
Following our continental triumph we returned to focus on the end to our league season, knowing that we effectively had to win every game in order to win the league, but we immediately undone in our first game in a 2-1 defeat at home to Cruzeiro. We actually took the lead on 84 minutes but once again threw away crucial points with goals for Cruzeiro in the 85th and 92nd minutes stealing the 3 points from under our noses.
We followed that with another defeat to Fluminense which officially ended our hopes of winning the league and handed the title to Flamengo. A really disappointing end to our league season after such a strong opening few months.
With the pressure off our shoulders we seemed a new team and actually finished the season with 3 back to back wins with an aggregate score line of 12-0, the best of which coming on the last day with a 6-0 win over Ponte Preta. A hat trick from Matheusao, a brace from Ochoa and one for Barcia to end the season in style at least.
Overall, 4 wins out of 6 and we did win the final after all so I can’t be too upset I suppose.
As mentioned, we threw it away again and finished a distant second in the end, 8 points behind Flamengo who had a fantastic end to the season, so congratulations to them. We will definitely be fighting hard next season to take back the title that I feel should have been ours.
Overall an incredible year in terms of player output with Mosquera scoring 48 goals, Renato on 39 and Mathesusao on 25. Assists wise Barcia ended on a crazy 29, followed closely by Cantu and Ochoa on 21 each.
I think it is unsurprising to say that Mosquera took home the South American Footballer of the Year award with his 48 goals in 53 games this season. Considering he cost us just £2.4m that is a pretty decent return I think you will agree.
And he completed the clean sweep with Fans Player of the Year as well, beating off competition from Cantu and Barcia, also winning signing of the season and young player of the season as well!
And despite our end of season choke I still took home manager of the year this season which is nice recognition at least.
A disappointing end to the league season as I really felt we had the title in our hands earlier in the season, but we did at least win a trophy this year with the second tier continental competition in the bag. Hopefully that should set us in good stead to win the main prize next year if we can make a couple of strong additions to the side over the winter period.
*Make sure you tune in for the next update which will be a transfer special (hopefully)! It is quite likely that there might be a week break in my posting as the next week in my life is very hectic, but I’m sure you will all be around when I get back. Thanks for the support!*