SAMBA SOCCER REIGNS SUPREME Sao Paul claims 3rd Dallas Cup Super title
By Phil Stephens Editor DallasSoccerNews.com
Sao Paulo won its third Dallas Cup Super Group title Sunday, beating the Vancouver Whitecaps 4-0 at Pizza Hut Park Stadium.
Photo by Michael Stephens
FRISCO, TX---After nearly slipping out of the race Friday in a close call against Manchester City in a Super Group semifinal, Sao Pauloís players were ready to explode. And they did, bursting past the Vancouver Whitecaps 4-0 Sunday to claim the Dallas Cup XXX Super Group championship at Pizza Hut Park Stadium.
It was the clubís third Super Group championship, a Dallas Cup record.
Diogo Bittencourt set the tone early, flying down the left flank in the sixth minute, beating his Vancouver defender, curving in and blasting a left-footed missile into the right corner to give the Brazilians a quick 1-0 lead.
Seven minutes later, Sao Paulo displayed its Samba Soccer magic again when Julio Almeida jumped on a deflection off the Vancouver goalie Keithy Simpson and quick-footed a blast into the net to put the Brazilians up 2-0. At that point, it was clear the Whitecaps were in for a long night.
The play started on a corner kick and Bruno Bortolanca connected on the cross with a blast that rebounded out from Simpsonís save. The ball went diagonally right from the goalie on the save, but Almeida caught up with the ball and one-touched it into the net before the goalie could get back.
The Brazilians had come to party and the Whitecaps were left at the door. Less than three minutes after going up 2-0, Sao Paulo was celebrating again.
Jose Silva attacked down the right flank, penetrating deep into the penalty box, then whipping a cross back to his left . An onrushing Lucas Gonclaves slipped onto the ball in stride, cut left and bypassed the goalie from eight yards out to send the Brazilians into a 3-0 lead at 15:49.
That left the Whitecaps to chase the ball against Sao Paulo and even with 75 minutes of soccer to go, three goals is a mountain to climb against the Brazilians. They were in control of the ball and pace of the game.
Vancouver didnít resign itself to defeat, carrying the game to Sao Paulo as best it could. The atmosphere was chippy late in the game as the Canadiansí frustrations mounted. When Brazil pushed the ball into the box from the right flank, a Whitecaps fullback tripped the Sao Paulo player as he crossed into the 18-yard box. The referee pointed to the spot in front of the net.
That gave the Sao Paulo goalie Everson Piles a chance to get into the scoring book. He stepped up to the penalty spot and blasted the ball into the top left of the net to finish the scoring at 4-0. The Brazilian domination was complete.
Brazilian coach Marcus Vizoli brought his team back to Dallas Cup with a victory plan after his team fared poorly last year in the tournament.
The Manchester City team nearly spoiled his planned party when it forced Sao Paulo to win a penalty kick series in the semifinal after posting a clean sheet through regulation and two overtimes. The Brazilians were on top of their game and made no mistakes in the championship game.
Sao Paulo last won this tournament in 2007, and before that, in 1995.
The Whitecaps are building its own Dallas Cup memory book. They are the junior squad of the USISL Division 1 team that has been awarded an MLS franchise to begin in 2011.
The Canadians upset an Eintracht Frankfurt team 1-0 in its semifinal, an unforgettable memories from this Dallas Cup. Sunday night is just one of those memories it would like to leave in Texas, or return next year and earn a different result.