Campeonato Paulista Wrap: Corinthians, Santos reach final
By Football News
Corinthians have made the Campeonato Paulista final after knocking out Sao Paulo on penalties following a 0-0 draw on Sunday.
Alexandre Pato and Cassio were the heroes for Corinthians with the former converting the visitors' final spot-kick to clinch the victory after the latter had saved Luis Fabiano's effort.
Corinthians will meet Santos in the two-legged final after the latter also advanced through a penalty shootout versus Mogi Mirim.
Sao Paulo had the best chances in open play on Sunday but failed to get the job done in the penalty shootout.
While Sao Paulo's goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni converted his penalty with a cheeky chip down the middle, Corinthians' gloveman Cassio watched Paulo Ganso smash his spot-kick over the bar before denying Fabiano.
Ceni thought he had kept Sao Paulo in the shootout when he palmed Pato's penalty away with his right hand but the referee correctly ruled the goalkeeper had advanced of the goal-line before the kick was taken.
Pato made no mistake with his second attempt as Ceni dived the wrong way and Corinthians wrapped up a spot in the final.
Santos had to come from behind away to Mogi Mirim to qualify for the Campeonato Paulista decider after Roni gave the hosts the lead just before half-time on Saturday.
Edu Dracena equalised for Santos in the 77th minute and the match eventually required a penalty shootout.
While Rene Junior and Ezequiel Miralles both missed their penalties for the visitors, Santos goalkeeper Rafael saved three spot-kicks to help his side overcome Mogi Mirim.
Neymar converted Santos' fifth penalty to keep them alive, while Dracena scored the decisive spot-kick to eliminate Mogi Mirim.
Corinthians will host the first leg of the final on May 12 before the two sides head to Santos' Estadio Urbano Caldeira on May 19.
In the Trofeu do Interior semi-finals for regional-based clubs, Penapolense and Ponte Preta advanced to the final with respective 4-1 and 1-0 victories over Botafogo SP and Linense.