The final round of the Campeonato Paulista will define the fate of ten of the 16 participants. Eight clubs fight for the remaining three places in the second tier and three want to avoid relegation. The reporter made no mistake in the calculation: it is that Santos could either go off the podium or fall into the state’s second division Serie A2.
Peixe has 11 points and is third in Group D, one point short of Santo Andre. To qualify, Alvinegro needs to defeat Agua Santa at Villa Belmiro and expect Ramalho not to beat Inter de Limera at the Bruno José Daniele Stadium in ABC Paulista. A win or at least a draw also frees Santos from the risk of falling. Now, if they lose, the Coastal team must ensure that the Ponte Prieta does not score points against Ituano, at the Moises Lucarelli in Campinas, or against Mirasol at the Arena da Fonte Luminosa in Ferroviaria Araraquara. Ferinha has the same 11 points as Peixe and the contention for the position between them could be the yellow card. Macau have eight points and avoid relegation only if they win and Ferroviaria and Santos lose.
This is the second year in a row that Alvinegro Praiano has reached the final and could fall to Paulisto. Coach Fabian Bustos, who made his debut at the club less than two weeks ago, sought the support of the crowd. He recalled that there are two outcomes that are convenient, to classify or at least to follow in the first category. He said the team has room for improvement and that he understands fan dissatisfaction, but believes most will be in favor of the team.
If they qualify, Santos will face Red Bull Bragantino in the quarterfinals, in the same game, led by the Bragança Paulista team, which has the best campaign in Group D. Leaders of other groups have also been defined. In Group A, the Corinthians expect Inter de Limera, Guarani or Agua Santa, fighting for second place. In Group C, Palmeiras will face anyone passing between Ituano, Botafogo de Ribeirao Preto and Mirasol. The only game of the next stage that has already been confirmed is between So Paulo and So Bernardo, leader and vice president, respectively, of Group B.
The matches with Novorizontino defining the classified and eventual relegation will take place this Saturday (19), 16:00 (Brasilia time).