After losing to PSG in their opening game of the Al Kass International Cup, Atleti’s youngsters were cruelly beaten by São Paulo on Saturday leaving them bottom of Group D. Read an exclusive match report below, with thanks again to the Al Kass U17 media team.
Sao Paulo snatched a dramatic injury time win over Atletico Madrid to ensure the Spaniards will finish bottom of Group D. Atletico had come into the game hoping for a victory to prevent an early exit from the tournament. Sao Paulo, meanwhile, were making their first appearance at Al Kass, and quickly slipped into gear.
With five minutes on the clock, striker Paulo Da Silva controlled well, evading the challenge of Miguel Mateos before firing just over the Atletico bar.
Three minutes later Madrid’s Jose Gallego rose highest to meet a corner from the right, but could only direct his headed effort into the arms of Sao Paulo stopper Lucas Da Silva.
In the 11th minute, the Brazilians’ midfield enforcer Igor Paniera picked up the ball in a central position midway inside Atletico’s half, advancing before unleashing a powerful low drive straight at keeper Diego Alcolado.
Sao Paulo were creating the better chances, and their positive approach brought reward in the 21st minute when the lively Gustavo Dos Santos sprinted clear down the right, his low cross evading the desperate lunge of Atletico’s Alejandro Diaz, allowing Paulo Da Silva to stroke home first time at the far post.
Both sides were in combative mood, a series of meaty challenges testing referee Hussain Shuaikh’s patience. Sao Paulo’s Dos Santos was the first to be cautioned on 24 minutes.
Despite falling a goal behind there was no danger of Atletico capitulating, and in the 34th minute they were level. Gallego swung in a free kick 30 yards out on the left, and tall striker Pablo Romero climbed highest to power a well-directed header into the top left corner.
Undeterred, Sao Paulo persevered with their positive approach, which almost paid off as the first half drew to a close. Midfielder Pedro de Oliviera picked up a Madrid clearance on the edge of the area, forcing a smart save from Alcolado with a stinging drive that was heading for the roof of the net.
Sao Paulo appeared most likely to take the lead as the second half progressed, with Peraira increasingly dictated the rhythm of the game from central midfield.
On 64 minutes Atletico captain Ruben Felipe earned the game’s first yellow card when he clattered substitute Lucas De Oliviera on the halfway line wide on the left. Sao Paulo worked the ball well to Dos Santos, who shot over from 12 yards out when he may have done better.
Sao Paulo’s pacey winger Da Silver was displaying his full repertoire of skillful footwork but was occasionally guilty of over-elaborating when a telling cross was required. Pointing the way was substitute Lucas De Oliviera, whose direct approach almost broke the deadlock on 70 minutes. Fed by a high diagonal pass from the left, the striker hammered the ball on the half-volley from the edge of the area, and was unlucky to see Alcolado react well and tip over.
However, neither side could find a killer pass to unlock the opposition defence, as the game drifted towards a stalemate. Remarkably, deep into added time, Sao Paulo found a way to win with practically the last action of the game, when Lucas De Oliviera crossed for Dos Santos to slide home from close range.
Sao Paulo’s 2-1 victory condemns Atletico to last place in Group D, with the Brazilians set to battle for top spot against the widely fancied PSG on Sunday.
Gallery (credit Al Kass U17 media team)