Palmeiras Wins the 2020 Florida Cup With Two Second-Half Goals To Beat New York City FC
Lucas Lima and Willian scored in the second half to lead Palmeiras to a come-from-behind victory over New York City FC in the first game of Saturday’s Florida Cup double-header. The win put Palmeiras on top of the Florida Cup standings with five points, but after Corinthians dropped the second game against Atlético Nacional, Verdão secured the Florida Cup title in its first appearance.
Palmeiras started with their strongest players as they prepare for the Paulista opener a week from now. Felipe Melo wore the captain’s armband again, and Gustavo Gomez joined him in central defense. Luiz Adriano headed the attack along with Dudu, Rapahel Veiga, and Lucas Lima, who stood out against Atlético Nacional. Gabriel Menino started in the midfield alongside Bruno Henrique. Fans saw New York City’s top lineup for the first time this season with MLS Best XI Maxi Moralez, Alexandru Mitriță, Alex Ring, and Keaton Parks, who just made his loan deal from Benfica permanent. Osaze De Rosario started again after a strong performance in NYCFC’s game against Corinthians.
The game may not have started the way either team wanted with two stars coming off in the opening minutes. Bruno Henrique appeared to suffer a muscular injury and was replaced by Ramires, and Maxi Moralez came off after tweaking a muscle on an early shot. He was replaced by Andres Jasson.
Dudu had the game’s first good chance in the 8th minute, but his strike from inside the box was stopped by Brad Stuver. Palmeiras had a quick exchange that looked promising in the 14th minute when Dudu’s scoop found Luiz Adriano, who backheeled the ball for Ramires, but his shot was blocked by a NYCFC defender. NYCFC had their chances as well. In the 30th minute, Mitrițǎ beat the wall on his free kick but narrowly missed wide and Matarrita failed to hit the target in the 22nd minute, and at the 45-minute mark, Gary Mackay-Steven tested Weverton with a hard short that the Palmeiras keeper saved. Shortly after Dudu was fouled beating an NYCFC defender with a stepover, but Stuver was well-positioned and made an easy save on Menino’s free kick even though it was headed for the top corner.
The game finally broke open in extra time of the first half when Osaze De Rosario got his head on a powerful bending cross from Anders Jasson and steered the ball into the goal to give New York City a 1-0 lead. After the game, NYCFC coach Ronny Deila called it a “fantastic goal” and praised De Rosario’s play. “Osaze is a talented boy. He still has a lot to learn but he has some skills that are rare. He’s big, very strong, good on the ball, and in the air he’s fantastic, so it’s about a little more to take the level of intensity and discipline, and if he can do that he’ll be a very exciting striker.”
Willian came in for Veiga to start the second half, and NYCFC made a near full squad change with Jasson and De Rosario staying on. Tony Rocha made a good run through the Palmeiras defense early on, but his shot was stopped. Palmeiras tied the game in the 56th minute when Lima’s deflected cross, intended for Willian, snuck past NYCFC keeper Luis Barraza. Palmieras made a full change in the 62nd minute, and less than ten minutes later took the lead when Zé Rafael’s header found Willian streaking through the box, and the striker’s settling touch allowed him to dink it past Barraza’s hands for the game-winner. Willian was named Man of the Match.
Despite the loss, Deila had positive things to say about the week in Florida. “To get the standards these two teams have into our training and matches, that’s what you go in for. When you play against the best, you get tested yourself.”
Palmeiras faced an MLS club for the second time in club history. The Verdão played New England Revolution in the Friendship Cup in 1997 and won that game 1-0. Palmeiras begins play in the Paulista against Itauano on January 22nd and opens the Copa Libtertadores group stage against Tigre on March 4th. New York City FC will head to California for another month of training before its CONCACAF Champions League tie against AD San Carlos on February 20th. NYCFC opens MLS play against Columbus Crew on March 1st.
NYCFC- De Rosario- 45’
Palmeiras- Lima- 56’
Palmeiras- Willian- 73’
Zé Rafael 66’
21- Weverton, 2 Marcos Rocha, 30-Felipe Melo (Captain), 15- Gustavo Gomez, 26- Victor Luis, 48- Gabriel Menino, 19- Bruno Henrique, 7- Dudu, 20- Lucas Lima, 10- Luiz Adriano, 23- Raphael Veiga
42-Jailson, 72- Vinicius, 12- Mayke, 13- Luan, 34- Emerson, 6- Diogo Barbosa, 45- Patrick de Paula, 18- Ramires, 47- Gabriel Veron, 8- Zé Rafael, 29- Willian, 49- Wesley, 44- Pedro Henrique, 46- Lucas Esteves, 40- Alan
New York City
41- Stuver, 3- Tinnerholm, 6- Callens, 22- Matarrita, 8- Ring (Captain), 55- Parks, 17- Mackay-Steven, 10- Moralez, 28- Mitriţă, 74- De Rosario, 4- Chanot
13- Barraza, 25- Scally, 33- Ibeagha, 16- Sands, 15- Rocha, 80- Haak, 23- Zelalem, 65- Fortune, 14- Torres, 61- Jasson, 63- Kapanadze, 64- Lansade, 24- Gray, 73- Taylor, 67- Kim