After 14 rounds in the Serie A lantern (all in the 1st round), Fortaleza re-emerged for the competition like a phoenix rises from the ashes. With five consecutive victories and a perfect advantage in the return, Leão do Pici already appears in the South American classification zone and has the luxury of looking at the top of the table.
If in recent years Fortaleza learned to make history, the Ceará team stuck to the brand that never before in the history of Serie A has a 1st round lantern escaped relegation at the end of the competition. The championship is far from over, but the recovery is already visible.
It was painful rounds at the bottom of the biggest regularity tournament in the country. With patience, repeating the keyword each round like a mantra, the Lion knew how to react. After round 24, the Tricolor doubled the number of points (from 15 to 30) and entered the South American classification zone (it is 12th). We repeat that there is nothing defined, it is true, but it is necessary to point out the improvements that the team of Juan Pablo Vojvoda presents in this resumption of bigger and bigger dreams in the elite of Brazilian football.
Moises celebrates a goal in Fortaleza x Corinthians, at Castelão – Photo: Lucas Emanuel/AGIF
Leão has not conceded a goal for six games (five in the return) in Serie A. A remarkable feat for those who had the ninth worst average of goals conceded. It was 1.21 per game in the first round. It doesn’t take that much mathematical knowledge to understand that, in the second round, the average is zero goals conceded per duel. With a good defensive system, Tricolor do Pici leveraged the chances of victory and, consequently, of adding points.
Fernando Miguel has seven games without conceding in Serie A — Photo: Leonardo Moreira
The attack still needed to be adjusted. The fan remembers little of the 15 goals scored in the first 19 games of the first division. But the game has turned. In five rounds, there were seven goals, with highlights for Robson and Moisés, with two goals each. Without conceding goals, with an effective attack, the reaction was possible.
Robson celebrates a goal scored — Photo: Bruno Oliveira / Fortaleza EC
After the departure of Yago Pikachu, Fortaleza needed a reference in the attack. And Moses apparently took that responsibility upon himself. The player was already the athlete in the tricolor cast who had the most submissions per match (38 times). However, the use was low (three goals). In the second round, the improvement is blatant: there are six submissions and two goals scored. Moisés already has three assists in this Serie A.
Moisés already has two goals for Fortaleza in the return of Serie A — Photo: Mateus Lotif/Fortaleza EC
If Fernando Miguel closes the defense and Moisés commands the attacking troops, it is necessary to praise other names that have shone with the Fortaleza shirt. In Tinga’s absence, Brítez was a perfect fit for Vojvoda’s team. In midfield, it is necessary to praise the excellent ball thief Lucas Sasha. The two even have 23 and 21 correct tackles in just seven games for Leão. They already appear among the four main stealers of the team in the championship.
Vojvoda and Brítez, from Fortaleza — Photo: Mateus Lotif / Fortaleza
In the first round, Fortaleza won only one at home and two away. In five home matches, he has already won the two he played as home team at Arena Castelão and the three he played away from the crowd. The improvement is blatant and many points were recovered in a short space of time.
for a team that reached 75% risk of relegation in the first half of the dispute, the work that Juan Pablo Vojvoda and his coaching staff have been doing is commendable. The board retained the commander, brought in reinforcements, and saw the system work. If Vojvoda had a plan, it took a while, but it started to work.
It is up to fans to follow the next steps and hope that the formula remains. After all, rock bottom is already behind us. And the Lion that gained wings goes higher and higher.
Tinga, an important part of Vojvoda’s squad, became available to the coach again — Photo: Mateus Lotif / Fortaleza