385 days! This is the time that separates tragedy from glory for Pablo. On August 17, 2021, the striker played one of his last games with the São Paulo shirt. He missed an incredible chance in the 3×0 of Palmeiras, in the quarterfinals of the Libertadores final. Now, in the same competition, also at Allianz Parque, against Palmeiras, and on the exact beam of the sad episode, he scored a goal and assisted in the tie that guaranteed Athletico’s spot in the grand final in Guayaquil.
The feat is huge for the moment that Pablo spends at the club from Paraná. Barred by the young Vitor Roque, he was on a low, but left the bench to give the classification to his club.
Without Danilo and Raphael Veiga, Abel Ferreira opted for Gabriel Menino and Bruno Tabata. Luiz Felipe Scolari played almost the same team from the first game. Erick composed the middle with Alex Santana and Fernandinho. Hugo Moura was the embezzler.
Palmeiras was much superior to Athletico in the 1st half! Scoring hard and accelerating in quick transitions, he created four good chances in 25 minutes, and opened the scoring right away with Gustavo Scarpa. Bruno Tabata stole the ball from Canobbio and served Zé Rafael. He won the duel with Fernandinho and crossed low. Pedro Henrique failed and shirt 14 did not forgive.
Dudu, Tabata and Scarpa himself startled in the sequence. Athletico, who inexplicably exposed themselves too much in the first few minutes, couldn’t produce anything. It depended on Vitor Roque’s personal victories, something that was not accompanied by the young striker’s companions in the sequence of plays. Verdão scored strongly, exuded concentration, and was very organized to take advantage of counterattacks.
In the offensive phase, it also eluded the Hurricane. From the start of the ball, with Weverton between Marcos Rocha and Murilo, and advancing Gómez, he confused the red-black’s marking slots, and managed to circulate possession efficiently. It was vertical. He arrived in the area with danger. Marcos Rocha served Rony in the 35′, but the kick was pressed and Bento caught it.
In additions, however, a bad scene was repeated. Murilo hit Vitor Roque above the knee in a totally isolated move, and was sent off directly. There is little to discuss about the move, but the Palmeiras claimed the absence of a red card for Alex Santana, who purposely hit Rony in the face with his arm, before a free-kick in the middle of the 1st stage.
Luan came in for Tabata at half-time to restore the center back. Abel set up a 4-4-1, with Scarpa and Dudu returning from the sides. In Hurricane, triple shake. Abner, Alex Santana and Canobbio left. Pedrinho, Terans and Rômulo entered. Logically the game took another face in the 2nd stage. Athletico all the time with the ball in the attacking field, and Palmeiras trying to scare away with counterattacks or set pieces.
In a side charged in the area by Marcos Rocha managed to score the second goal. Gustavo Gómez won the duel with Thiago Heleno from the top and shaved his head to score in the ninth minute. The rubro-negro found it very difficult to enter the alviverde area, but a substitution adjusted that. Pablo took Eric’s place. He started to double with Vitor Roque in the center of the attack and reduced the score.
Fernandinho put a beautiful pass to Vitinho in the back of Marcos Rocha, he crossed low, Vitor Roque scored and Pablo scored. In the same way that it gained offensive power, Hurricane exposed itself too much, and Dudu made great plays in counterattacks. In one of them, he served Gabriel Menino in the area, but the strong kick of the steering wheel stopped in the great defense of Bento.
Fate, however, was set. Pablo served Terans from the edge of the area in the 40′, and the Uruguayan’s shot deflected Piquerez before dying in Weverton’s right corner. Palmeiras couldn’t match Tricolor’s feat. 28 years ago, São Paulo reached three consecutive Libertadores finals, but there was Hurricane Pablo in the middle. It will be the second time that the club will dispute the decision of the competition.