São Paulo’s up one just before halftime in one of the biggest derbies in Brazilian soccer. It’s the Derby Paulista, waged between the two biggest clubs in the country’s largest city.
Then the most dangerous play in soccer happened.
The ball is put in from the right, a corner kick. Palmeiras clears it. Denílson takes it …
… and this happens:
Yes, that’s the same Denílson that was once such a promising prospect for Arsenal. In fact, he’s still on their books, destined to play out his contract on loan to São Paulo.
And despite playing parts of four seasons with the Tricolor, that was the 24-year-old’s first Campeonato goal. Not a bad way to open your account, albeit a little late: a 36-yard rocket snaking inside the post of your rivals.
The goal also had a moral component. São Paulo had dominated the first half, outshooting Palmeiras 15-6 before the goal. Yet they were only up 1-0, four minutes from letting their rivals reach halftime and a chance to regroup.But then, justice as served.
In one moment, Denílson pushed Palmeiras from salvation to dispair. He also scored what will likely be this weekend’s best goal.