Santos FC Musings

Apr 20

Santos 2014 Brasileirão Season Preview

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Last Sunday Santos faced Ituano in the Campenato Paulista. On Wednesday the opponents were Mixto in the Copa do Brasil. This Sunday coming Sport Recife will visit the Vila Belmiro for the first game in the 2014 Campeonato Brasileiro for Oswaldo de Oliveira’s men. What, I ask, is the biggest Santos-centric difference between the three competitions? The league is the one Santos hasn’t won recently.

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Apr 17

A Lucas Powered Win

As expected, Santos progressed to the next round of the Copa do Brasil after seeing off Mixto by a 3x0 scoreline at the Vila Belmiro. It was far from straight forward, though. A goalless first half where the team was all brawn with brains brought up fears that a repeat of Sunday’s debacle would have been possible. However, with the entry of Lucas Lima in the second half, the much needed guile integrated itself into Santos’s play. First Arouca opened the scoring before Gabriel scored a brace to seal the win. Lucas was the axis on which it hinged.

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Apr 16

Penalty Heartbreak

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After 180 minutes of football, the final act of the 2014 Paulistão came down to the individual components of both teams. The collective was reduced to a group of isolated of points, each being a man bearing the weight of the contest between him and the goalkeeper from 12 yards. Santos jumped out into an early lead, but Rildo’s effort off the upright pushed the conclusion into sudden death. There, sadly, it was Santos who blinked first. Neto’s poor penalty was easily smothered by Vagner, and Ituano became the new reigning champions of the Campeonato Paulista.

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Apr 10

On The Back Foot

The last time a team from São Paulo’s big four failed to win the Campeonato Paulista was in 2004 when São Caetano beat Paulista to claim the prize. Ten years later, Ituano are close to breaking the hegemony again at Santos’ expense. The 1x0 win for Doriva’s men in the first leg of the final was no product of a series of lucky breaks that football throws up occasionally. No, the team from the interior fully deserved their victory through their stout defending, and controlled play in possession. In short, they were everything Santos were not. Gabriel and company put in one of their all too frequent cold displays this year. Cicero’s field goal style penalty summed up the evening succinctly. Now the favorites are in the back seat going into the second leg. The ultimate outcome is balanced on a knife’s edge. 

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Apr 04

The Compressed Law of Truly Large Numbers

In Mathematics, the law of truly large numbers says that all things are possible given a large enough sample size. In what I call the compressed version of this theorem, the sample size condition is optional. This alteration came to the fore in Santos’ Copa do Brasil game against Mixto in Cuiba. In front of a 20,000 strong crowd at the Arena Pantanal’s inaugural game, Santos’ second string side  - populated mostly by youngsters - completely dominated the game without playing well. However, the ball seemed determined not to go in, a goal that it achieved with the help of Mixto’s goalkeeper, the woodwork, and some dreadful finishing. Since Mixto decided to give Aranha the night off to compose the draft of his memoirs, the game finished goalless.

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