At the Mineirão, São Paulo is defeated during the Brazilian Championship debut

Although Tricolor created good opportunities, Cruzeiro won the first round of the championship

Rubens Chiri /

The Tricolor was defeated during the Brazilian Championship debut. On Sunday (14), despite creating good opportunities, São Paulo was beaten by Cruzeiro 1–0 in the opening round of the national competition. The single goal was scored by the forward Ábila in the second half. After the match in Belo Horizonte, São Paulo will play again again on March 22, at the Morumbi, against Avaí.

São Paulo started the match with Renan Ribeiro; Éder Militão, Maicon and Rodrigo Caio; Thiago Mendes, João Schmidt, Jucilei and Júnior Tavares; Cueva, Lucas Pratto and Marcinho. The opponent started with Fábio; Lucas Romero, Dedé, Léo and Diogo Barbosa; Henrique, Hudson, Rafinha and Alisson; Arrascaeta and Ábila.

Even though it was an away match, São Paulo had more control and kept the opponent defensive. Thus, after 18 minutes, São Paulo created a good opportunity for the first time: the ball was left for Junior Tavares, who hit low but was stopped by the goalkeeper Fábio.

After this attack, the opponent responded and reached Renan Ribeiro’s goal a few times. The two teams were playing offensively, in a similar way. Still, São Paulo created another two good opportunities before halftime.

Back from halftime, with the intention of giving more offensive power to the team, Luiz Araújo joined the match replacing Cueva. The change, however, didn’t have time to do any good. After two minutes, Ábila scored for the home team: 1–0.

To have new options in the attack, the coach made changes again and Thomaz joined the match replacing Éder Militão. Looking for the equalizer, São Paulo was very offensive, while the opponent was trying to take advantage of the counterattacks. Later, Gilberto replaced Marcinho and tried to help, but Cruzeiro strengthened the defense and managed to maintain the result until the final whistle: 1–0.

Originally published in Portuguese by Érico Leonan/

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