Four goals, shutout, and Real renews its confidence against Melchester Rovers
SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- When Real Sao Paulo players stepped into the terrible Polo Field #1 grass this hot Sunday noon, an impressive 4-0 win was indeed unexpected. Nonetheless, they really pulled it off and defeated old rival Melchester Rovers, moving one position up and taking the position from the Irish team in the league table.
The last times Real played against the Rovers were in 2007, when the Rovers were still in the second division of the SFSFL. Two ties: 2-2 and a controversial 3-3, after Real Sao Paulo was winning by 3-1 until the last 5 minutes, marked the history of the match as a classical derby.
Melchester Rovers apparently knew they had to start strong in order to avoid Real's domination during the game. They had a handful of opportunities early in the game since Real's captain Fabio Carvalho was not playing due to an injured ankle. In the 5th minute, a corner kick almost ended up as an olympic goal against Real. One minute later, a long throw-in bounced in front of Sandro and hit the top bar. Right after that, a delayed pass in the defense from Real's improvised sweeper Lucas, put the Rovers forward in the top of the arc, but Sandro made his first save of the game after the shot.
Real Sao Paulo managed to blast its first shot only in the 20th minute. Fabio Marques received the goal kick from Sandro and quickly sent the ball in the left flank to Leandro who, in turn, switched to Marcos David open in the right side. The back pass towards the 18-yard line found Rodrigo free, but the shot went out inches from the far post. Four minutes later, Fabio found Fernando free in the center mid, but the shot was too weak to scare Rovers goalkeeper.
In the 34th minute, Leandro lost a very easy opportunity to open the score when a ball cleared by Matthew Gruber, Real's stopper, put him in front of the goalkeeper leaving the box, but the shot, instead of going over the keeper, went wide out. Five minutes to the end of the first half, a couple of throw-ins almost put Real ahead. The first throw-in reached Mauro who tried the assist to Leandro, but the defense saved. The second one ended up in Fernando's right foot, but the blast went inches over the top bar.
In the second half, Real Sao Paulo came determined to take the win. Five minutes after the whistle blew, a corner kick cleared by Rover's defense ended up in Fernando's foot who tried to set up for himself, but Ricardo Costenaro, coming in a better position, tried the shot but it was a bit off the mark and sailed high over goal. Seven minutes later, Fernando Spinelli gave the Real's crowd something to roar about when he scored after a great combination of passes and back heel between Mauro and Rhuan. Real 1-0.
In the 71st minute, Leandro almost scores the secong goal for Real when he received a pass from Marcos David. The quick touch to dribble the goalkeeper to the right sent the ball too fast for Leandro to hit it before it went out through the endline. Three minutes later, a long free kick by Fernando from the defense side found Mauro open in the left side who tried a first time shot, but the ball went out inches from the keeper's left post. The next great opportunity finally increased Real's lead. In the 79th minute, a ball cleared by Matt, ended up with Fernando. A quick one-two with Armando and Fernando saw Rovers goalkeeper off his line and decided to take a shot. The goalkeeper quickly backpedaled but was a step late as Fernando's shot floated over him into the right side of the net for Real's and his second goal.
The second goal seemed to have killed Rover's hopes to come back in the game and, in the 82nd minute, another ball, this time assisted by Matt, went towards Rover's goalkeeper who was too tall to follow the random bounces in the terrible field and let is pass through his legs. The opportunistic Real's forward, Mauro Pinheiro, did not waste the opportunity and, going around the distracted keeper, found the open goal and shook the net. 3-0.
In the 85th minute, Real found the net one last time when Fabio Marques got pushed down inside the opponent's box and converted a penalty kick. Actually, he converted two ones since the referee asked him to kick it again because, according to the controversial referee, Cristiano Sinadino had invaded the box before the first penalty kick.
Despite of the competitive first half, Real Sao Paulo managed to score four goals during the second half and showed the opponent it might take some time, but once they figure their opponent's weaknesses and overcome their own, it is impossible to stop the Real machine. Real Sao Paulo returns to the field next Sunday at Crocker Amazon Stadium against SF Celtic Reserves, currently in the 3rd position in the league.
For a more detailed game report, including video highlights and game stats, please click here.