Endrick narrowly avoids red card in draw between Palmeiras and Fortaleza
The future Real Madrid star narrowly avoided a red card in Palmeiras’ 2-2 draw with Fortaleza.
Endrick, in a white kit, already knows the pressure of playing against red and blue, but this time it was Palmeiras’ away strip against the hooped - not striped - shirt of Fortaleza. The youngster, recently called up to the Brazil squad, could well have seen red after an aggressive and unnecessary reaction to a foul.
Palmeiras began the game against Fortaleza knowing that they were now the Brasileirão leaders with only four matches left to play. When the team took the field, they had already been made aware of Botafogo’s slip-up and Gremio’s defeat, meaning everything had fallen in their favour to settle into top spot in the table.
However, Fortaleza had another idea, and decided to complicate things from the start. Abel Ferreira’s Palmeiras defence showed an increasingly common feeling of permeability and, after a plethora of chances went begging for the fire-up home side, soon conceded the first goal of the game, scored by Thiago Galhardo.
Palmeiras’ league title charge staggers
The situation for Endrick’s side became even more complicated when Gustavo Gómez was sent off on the hour mark. Just five minutes earlier, Endrick should also been sent off for what was a clear movement towards the face of Tite, the Fortaleza defender. Lady luck was on the side of the attacker, as the referee chose not to punish the player.
However, the character of the Palmeiras side resurfaced with the equaliser coming from Raphael Veiga. The visitors’ joy was short-lived, however, as Fortaleza took advantage of their one-player advantage to take the lead through Calebe.
The home side from the Brazilian northeast, not satisfied with the 2-1 scoreline, soon came close to scoring in a chance that, miraculously for Palmeiras, did not end in a goal. But it was giving up that chance that gave life to Endrick and his teammates, who put together a nice move to score the second goal, Zé Rafael the hero.
Endrick still top of the league
Endrick, who is already taking language classes to prepare for life in Spain, was taken off after a solid 83 minutes on the pitch and will be back on the field this Wednesday, when Palmeiras will face the team bottom in the league and already relegated: América Mineiro.
Flamengo defeated América Mineiro this weekend to move to 63 points in the table; the Verdão have the same number of points and, after the draw, only goal difference is keeping them and Endrick top of the table in Brazil. There is not long to go, and Endrick must show his class and keep his cool if he wants to walk away from his current side with a trophy in hand.