ORLANDO, Fla. – Sao Paulo FC won the 2017 Florida Cup Playoff championship after earning the victory in a penalty shootout against fellow Brazilian club SC Corinthians Paulista. After a scoreless 90-minute draw with Corinthians, Sao Paulo took the penalty shootout, 4-3, to win the trophy in front of an announced crowd of 7,500 at the University of Central Florida’s Bright House Networks Stadium.
The champions advanced to the final with an 8-7 penalty shootout win after a goalless draw against Argentinian giants River Plate.
Goalkeeper Sidão stopped two Corinthians shooters with diving, one-handed saves making him was the hero of the penalty shootout. His counterpart, Cassio of Corinthians, made one save in the shootout.
The match was an entertaining and very physical, contentious spectacle. Both teams played like they wanted the Florida Cup.
The first half was more scrum than soccer game. Seemingly every play was punctuated by shoves, grabs, shirt pulls, hands in an opponent’s face, and, in one instance, a kick to the head. Referee Jonathan Weiner handed out yellow cards to three Corinthians players.
Corinthians forward Marquinhos Gabriel brought down Sao Paulo defender Bruno as they chased for a through-ball. As both players went to ground, the Sao Paulo defender appeared to intentionally kick the Corinthians attacker in the head. The collision brought the two sides to the filed for what almost turned into a bench clearing brawl. In the melee Maicon threw hands to the face of a Corinthians player. Both sides ended up being reduced to 10 men as Corinthians’ Colin Kazim-Richards and Sao Paulo’s Maicon were both sent off.
From that point on, there were a lot of failed Sao Paulo free kicks and corners but little else to highlight the first half. Wellington Nem sent a 45th-minute shot over the bar in what was really only a half chance, and the teams ended the half tied at 0-0.
Sidão set the tone by stopping Bastos on the very first spot kick, diving to his right and denying the Corinthians midfielder. Here’s how the shootout unfolded:
- Corinthians: Fellipe Bastos (saved), Sao Paulo: Joao Schmidt (goal).
- Corinthians: Giovanni Augusto (goal), Sao Paulo: Cicero (goal).
- Corinthians: Marcel (saved), Sao Paulo: Araruna (saved).
- Corinthians: Paulo Roberto (goal), Sao Paulo: Junior (goal).
- Corinthians: Marlone (goal), Sao Paulo: Gilberto (goal).