Saturday in Brazil saw Cruzeiro take on Atletico-MG in the fifth round of the Minas de Gerais state championship, and the match was made memorable for two brilliant pieces of action as Cruzeiro ran-out 3-1 winners.
First, attention should be drawn to an amazing goal-line clearance from Atletico-MG’s defender and captain Leonardo Silva. Silva found himself as the hosts’ last line of defence when home keeper Fabio came charging out of his goal to try and close down Cruzeiro number nine Diego Tardelli.
Tardelli managed to reach the ball first, and in doing so the striker lifted a lob goalwards and on target. Amazingly though the ball never crossed the line as Silva, running towards his own net, managed to scoop the ball off the goal-line and hook the ball to safety over his head.
Leonardo Silva’s fantastic clearance can be seen here.
While Silva’s clearance was awesome, the story of the match was the return and debut of 31-year-old attacking midfielder Roger after the Brazilian had spent several seasons in the Middle East. Roger’s return could barely have gone much better as the midfielder set up Cruzeiro’s second from a corner, before rounding off the victory with a third at the death.
In the 88th minute, Roger blasted a ball from well outside of the penalty box, catching the defense by surprise and rattling the back of the Atletico-MG net. But that was only half the entertainment, as immediately after scoring Roger raced behind the goal to celebrate where the number 23 immediately set upon the club’s mascot. Comically, Roger ripped the giant bear head from the man-in-the-costume (who was left grounded by the assault) before he race over to the fans with the furry prop over his face.
Roger’s goal and comedy celebration can be seen here.
Full match highlights can be seen here.