The week of the teams from the Northeast of the Copa do Brasil was wonderful. For the first time in the history of the tournament, which began in 1989, the region will have six representatives in the round of 16: ABC-RN, rivals Bahia and Vitória and Juazeirense-BA, CRB-AL and Fortaleza-CE.
The previous record was five teams, in 1992 and 2009. CSA, Sport, Fortaleza, Sergipe and Bahia were the representatives in 92, while Icasa-CE, Vitória, CSA, Fortaleza, and Náutico were among the 16 best teams in the competition in 2009.
Of the six classified, four achieved great comebacks, three against teams from the Serie A of Brasileirão and one against the cruise, who is already Series B —but is the greatest champion in the history of the tournament—, in the duel of the return.
“We saw many videos showing Inter was the favorite. Saying that playing badly could give us 3-0. And it’s not like that, no. You have to respect the Northeast. Word of God says it exalts the humiliated and demeans the haughty. we are there to prove that our group is strong,” said Samuel, a Vitória player, to SporTV, after the victory in Beira-Rio.
On Wednesday (9), ABC lost to Chapecoense 3-1 away from home and needed to win 3-0 to advance. It was there and made it in Natal. CRB, on the other hand, lost at home, in Maceioi, to Palmeiras, but returned the score 1-0 at Allianz Parque and, on penalties, guaranteed their classification.
Also in the maximum penalties came the vacancy of Juazeirense, which, in its domain, won by Cruzeiro by the minimum score, the same result of the trip to Mineirão, and had Rodrigo Calaça as a hero. On Thursday (10), Vitória, who lost in the first leg by 1-0, beat Internacional in Porto Alegre by 3-1 and celebrated the vacancy.
Bahia’s classification was smoother, with two triumphs over Vila Nova-GO by 1-0. Fortaleza, on the other hand, advanced after eliminating another northeastern, Ceará, by winning 3-0 on the return, after a 1-1 draw. on the way.
The CBF has not yet defined the date of the draw that will determine the matches of the last 16 of the Copa do Brasil — there is still a vacancy in the open 16, which will be filled by Flamengo or Coritiba: the carioca team won yesterday (10) the first game 1-0. The duels for this stage are scheduled for the last week of July and the first week of August.