Avaí – An Englishman's view

A Frustrating Night in Natal

América-RN 1×0 Avaí  (Campeonato Brasileiro Série B – Tuesday 29th May 2012)

It was a highly frustrating night in the North East of the country last night…Our boys travelled the vast distance and set up to play in an attacking style against América however we were extremely wasteful in front of goal and, with torrential rain streaming down, we saw a potentially valuable point taken away from us in the final quarter of the game.

Heres how we lined up…

 

We knew that we would have to take the game to the Américans and lined up with two pacey wing players….Diogo Orlando and Mika.  Our recent in form goal scorer, Cleber Santana, lined up in the middle of the park to pay off Felipe Alves and Nunes.

Our defence proved stout in the opening exchanges with Leandro Silva the pick of the back four clearing twice of the line after decent goal bound efforts from the Natal based boys.  The woodwork also saved us before finally we gained some possession in the game and began to press forward. Felipe Alves had our first real chance but after cutting in well from the right hand side he blasted high and wide.

Avaí did have the ball in the back of the net during the first half but Nunes’ effort was correctly ruled out for offside. I could already tell that it may be a highly frustrating night for the Lion!!

The second half was much of the same with both sides having chances to open the scoring…Patric was, in particularly, impressing for Avaí and his drives down the right from his full back position scared the opposition on a number of occasions. However it was to be América-RN, with Pingo, who finally found the first, and what would be the only goal of the game. Again it was after some nice wing play whereby the ball was played across the Avaí six yard line and Pingo was, inexplicably, unmarked at the back post to power home.

So we left for the long journey home with nothing. It’s still very early in the competition and our performance may have warranted more.

Heres the goal…

 

Next up is a home game on Saturday against fellow Catarinenses Joinville. I see a 4×0 win coming on!!

Vamo Vamo Avaeeee

 

 

 

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May 30, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Game of Patience.

Avaí 1×0 São Caetano (Ressacada, 23/05/2012)

In their first home game of the Série B season Avaí faced a dogged, determined São Caetano side. A win would move us to the summit of the Championship and also be a marked improvement on our first round draw with Boa Esporte.

As expected Avaí controlled the pace of the game and had the lion’s share of possession however they were to be highly frustrated for two thirds of the entire match. The main line-up change was that Nunes couldn’t play so he was replaced upfront by Ronaldo Capixaba.

No one was able to open the scoring in the first half…the biggest incident being that of Aelson loosing 3 teeth after fighting for the ball with a São Caetano player. This meant that Hemerson Maria had to change things at half time and Aelson was replaced by Diogo Orlando allowing Pirão to move out wide in a more open position on the left wing. The Paulista side were so to react to this change and Avaí were pushing hard to make their possession count. Their best chance of the game came to Pirão who lashed a rasping effort onto the inside of the post from the edge of the area. We were getting closer!

The opening goal finally came from the penalty spot and, once again, from the impressive Cleber Santana. It may have been a little fortunate in the making as the São Caetano defender, Wagner’s clearance rebounded off  the onrushing Diego Palinha straight into the middle of the oppositions area. Ronaldo Capixaba looked odds on to stroke the ball into the goal but was illegally felled and the referee had no other option than to point to the spot! Cleber Santana stepped up and cooly finished the penalty into the bottom right hand corner of the goal.

Cleber Santana celebrates after neatly slotting away his penalty.

The 4,500 fans inside the Ressacada went wild and for the next 20 minutes were in raptures whilst Avaí continued to assault the São Caetano’s penalty area. The game finished 1×0 and saw the ‘Lions’ take top spot in the league…obviously the other 18 teams are yet to play their round 2 games but it still a time to smile as an Aviano!

 

Heres the goal with some fan reaction thrown in too…

 

Here are the teams….

Avaí – Diego, Patric, Renato Santos, Leandro Silva, Aelson (Diogo Orlando), Pirão, Mika, Robinho, (Diego Palinha), Cleber Santana, Felipe Alves (Laércio), Ronaldo Capixaba.

São Caetano – Luiz, Samuel Santos, Gabriel, Wagner, Diego, Augusto Recife, Moradei, Anselmo (Geovane), Pedro Carmona, Marcelo Costa (Aílton), Somália (Leandrão).



May 23, 2012 Posted by | Matches | Leave a comment

Série B – Round 2 – Already??

Avaí x São Caetano (Ressacada, 2100hrs, 22/05/2012)

A very brief preview of our next game in Série B :-

There really is no rest for the wicked, or any time to even dwell on previous success/failures as our brave ‘Lions’ are ready to roar once again tomorrow evening. In the second round of the Brazilian Série B we will face São Caetano at the Resscada.

São Caetano had a pretty poor start to the Championship when they lost at home to ASA 1-0. What with Avaí needing to bounce back after a surprising draw on Saturday this should be an interesting match!

Heres a reminder of who São Caetano are…

São Caetano

– They are a club from São Paulo State and were also founded in 1989. They have the nickname of Ázulão (The Big Blue) due to the colour of their kit. Their stadium is the Anacleto Camponella which can hold up to 23,000 fans.

A win tonight will see Avaí top the table with 4 points. Seeing as no other teams are playing this may be a little early to be getting excited!

Heres the League Table after the first round.

 

And here are the other Round 2 Fixtures.

 

Vamo Vamo Avaeeeee

 

 

 

May 22, 2012 Posted by | Matches, Previews | Leave a comment

Boa Esporte 2 x 2 Avaí – Série B Round 1

Saturday 19th May – Boa Esporte x Avaí

So Saturday saw a tricky league opener with our ‘Lions’ heading to Minas Gerais to take on Boa Esporte. I must admit to being infuriated by the lack of forethought by the league organisers with this fixture…Had they not realised the Champions League Final would be on at exactly the same time?!

Whilst eating steak sandwiches (I’ve inserted a picture…hungry?), drinking plenty of Brahma and watching Germans miss penalties I kept up to date with the game via the modern medium of Twitter (And managed to watch the SporTV highlights later!)

 

I was confident, excited and somewhat self assured….We may have been away from home but after the huge victory in the Catarinense we weren’t going to let a bunch of ‘Good Sports’ beat us! I knew that that updated tweet would come advising me of Avaí’s opener pretty quickly! I waited…..and waited…..any time now. Whats that? It’s half time and no goal? I don’t believe you!

Avaí tried out their new Third Kit for the Opener of Série B against Boa Esporte

 

The Champions League Final finally came to life in the last half of the second half….And it was by this time that I realised Avaí were also leaving it late. They knew that if the best of European club football wasn’t going to try, to not really give 100% until the last quater of an hour then they, too, shall play this way! And good on them….A brace of goals should do it lads! I can’t wait to see those ‘Goooooooooool’ tweets rolling in!

Yes! There it is and it’s our man of the moment again…Cleber Santana…smashing home an angled cross field ball into the roof of the net! Just 15 minutes to play so surely it’s our game now!? Only a team full of European International players could throw a one goal advantage away in the closing stages of a massive game! Not my Avaí ..no way!

Arghhhhhh This has got to be a joke! Boa Esporte equalise!? What seems like a matter of seconds after we have taken the lead the team in Red and White get an equalising goal..That wasn’t part of the plan guys! It’s a stunner too. We manage to concede a freekick just outside our penalty area and are punished by a sublime effort into the top right hand corner of the goal by Radames.  No need to panic though there is still 10 or so minutes for us to get that winner!

I check my phone for the umpteenth time to see if @Avaífc has some good news for me….There really can’t be long left now. Is a draw good enough? Are we a little spent after the herculean effort to win the Catarinense? There’s an update….I drop to my knees, head in hand…..think Arjen Robben after missing his penalty!…It’s awful news…with just 3 minutes of normal time Boa Esporte have taken the lead and turned the game on it’s head! It looks as though our defenders where already heading back to the dressing room as they are carved open as easily as a hot knife through butter. Marcelo with the simple back post tap in to bring tears to my eyes.

That’s it! I thought…Game Over! We’ve lost our opening game….There’s no way we could salvage something now, there just isn’t time. But wait….

@Avaífc – “Goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool”

@Avaífc – “Gol do Avaí – Pirão!!!!”

Somehow we’ve fought back….We’ve made a last gasp effort and we’ve levelled the scores with just 30 seconds remaining of injury time of the second half! Pirão finishes nicely from a very tight angle.

So we finished with a 2×2 draw in our first Série B game of the season. I would have preferred a win but after such an exciting final 15 minutes I’m happy with a draw. One last question though…Does that make our new third kit lucky or not?

Here are the goals…..

And here are the teams….

Avaí – Diego; Patric, Leandro Silva, Renato Santos, Pirão; Bruno, Mika, Cleber Santana, Robinho (Diogo Orlando); Felipe Alves (Laércio)  and Nunes (Ronaldo Capixaba). 

Boa Esporte – Max; Neilson, Neylor, Welton Felipe and Radamés; Claudinei, Radamés, Yuri and Jajá (Francismar); Marcelo and Vanger 

 

 

I shall up date with the other Série B results and the table in another post….as I’ve rambled on a bit already here!

 

 

 

May 21, 2012 Posted by | Matches | 2 Comments

Série B : Round 1 Preview

Need a break from the excitement?

No chance!

In just three days….Friday 18th May…The National League competitions kick off here in Brazil. Avaí had a torrid year last year what with some disloyal players moving on, returning then leaving us in the lurch again… (Yes..Marquinhos I’m looking at you!) and some pretty close decisions going against us. Which means that we shall be attempting to bounce back into the Brasileirão from Série B this year.

Rather ironically I have some fond memories of Série B. My first Avaí match was at the Ressacada when we gained promotion last time around in 2008. The tension, excitement and euphoria of winning are still etched on my brain and I can’t wait to go through it all again.

I am hoping to preview each round in the days before the matches here but as yet my knowledge of almost all our competitors in Série B is extremely limited. Atlético, Bragantino, Ceará, Joinville and maybe América aside.

So for now I thought I would put up a league table and also the first round fixtures.

 

As you see its quite straightforward with the top four finishers promoting into the Brasileirão and the bottom four finishers demoting into Série C.

Boa Esporte x Avaí

Our first game is against the Mineiros of Boa Esporte. They came up from Série C two seasons ago (which is when they changed their name and home town!). What with the confidence boost of our amazing 16th Catarinense title I’m sure we can push on and win this game well….really showing the ‘raça’ that we have and the passion to return to the top tier!

These are the complete fixtures for the first round…..

Ill be writing a review of the Avaí game on Monday and try to add a brief outline of what happened in the rest of the leagues fixtures.

Vamo Vamo Avaeeeeee!

May 15, 2012 Posted by | Previews | Leave a comment

Sweet Sixteen!!

The record breaking 16th title is ours!!

Figueirense 1×2 Avaí (Catarinense Final Second Leg)

Yesterday saw Avaí beat their closest rivals and lift the Catarinense trophy for a record breaking 16th time. It was another cracking game of football that not only had one of the best footballing haircuts ever it also saw us lift the ‘Taça” in  their own back yard!!

Figueirense knew they had a tough task after clearly underestimating the passion, power and desire of ‘O Leão’ the previous week at the Ressacada where we had won 3×0. We may have just been relegated and Figueirense had had their best season for many years last year but it was obvious who wanted this Catarinense title more. It also shows that Avaí still have the quality to rise back to the heady heights of the Brasileirão at the first time of asking!

The game got off on a lively tempo and, as to be expected, Figueirense were the more nervous of the two teams making a few simple passing mistakes. That said they did have a super chance to get back into the tie on the 20th minute. It was created by their central midfielder Roni who drove towards the Avaí goal crossing low and centrally only to see no connection being made by the striker. ‘O Leão’ were passing the ball around nicely and frustrating their foe with their ball retention and when the ref blew for half time with the game still goalless we could begin to dream of that 16th title!

The Figueirense manager knew he needed to change things to try to carve out more opportunities and get the goals his side desperately needed to stave off an embarrassing defeat and so he made an attacking change by bringing on Deretti for Túlio. However it was surely to be our night, our game and our Campeonato as after 15 minutes of the second half Felipe Alves burst through into the Figueirense box and was heavily felled by Canuto. The referee pointed to the spot immediately and all eyes turned to Cléber Santana to see if he could put this tie to bed from the penalty spot. He unleashed a thunderous effort and the blue and white half of the Scarpelli were in raptures. Figueirense now needed four goals to take the tie to penalties.

Avaí were playing the only way they know how pushing forward in search of more and more goals instead of attempting to hold onto what they had. Sometimes this is the best form of defence and due to the fact that Figueirense were throwing all their men forward to try to save something space was opening up. This space was exploited by Laécio, who had come on in place of Felipe Alves, he picked up the ball on the edge of the area and strode towards the goal unchallenged despite being surrounded by four or five Figueirense players before powering the ball home to give Avaí a 5×0 aggregate lead.

There were just 20 minutes remaining after Laércio’s goal for Figueirense to try and get anything at all out of the game. Their players already looked beaten and it was very kind of Avaí to let them have a consolation scored by the substitute Deretti.

You’ll find all the goals here…

An absolutely fantastic achievement for Avaí. 16 State Championship titles now in the bad and a return to form just before the start of the Brazilian Série B competition next weekend. The partying will have gone on long into the night last night and I would imagine that there are quite a few sore heads in Floripa this morning!!

Has anyone ever seen a better footballing haircut than the one that Patric of Avaí was sporting yesterday? Super work son!

On me head son....

VAMO VAMO AVAEEEEEEE!

Here are the line ups-

FigueirenseWilson; Pablo, Canuto, Fred, Guilherme Santos; Ygor, Túlio (Deretti), Luiz Fernando (Toró), Fernandes; Roni and Julio Cesar.  

AVAÍ –  Diego; Patric, Renato Santos, Leandro Silva, Pirão; Bruno, Mika, Cleber Santana, Robinho (Diogo Orlando); Felipe Alves (Laercio) and Nunes (Ronaldo Capixaba). 

May 14, 2012 Posted by | Matches | 7 Comments

Avaí Fact Sheet and Info….

You what?

I thought it may be handy to have a post that explains a little bit about Avaí FC. This will include the starting 11 expected for the start of the Série B campaign, the games that should be easy to catch on T.V. and other handy tit-bits.

Who are ya?

We are Avaí F.C. Originally founded in 1923 under the name “Avahy Football Club” (named after a battle from the Paraguayan war.)

We are based on the small island that juts out of the South Eastern Coast of Brazil in the State of Santa Catarina, Florianopolis. The island itself is famed for it’s beaches, surf and laid back lifestyle.

 

 

 

Our well known nickname is ‘O Leão Da Ilha’ (The Lion of the Island) and our mascot is, of course, ‘O Leão’ (The Lion)

 

 

 

We play our games in the southern most part of the island and our stadium is known as the Ressacada. It holds up to 17,800 spectators.

 

What have you won?

 

We have one league title to our name…which is that of Série C back in 1998. We promoted to the Brasileirão in 2008 after finishing 3rd in Série B.

We also have 15 (soon to be 16 if next weekend goes well!!) State Championship Titles, the Catarinense. We won these in 1924, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1930, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1973, 1975, 1988, 1997, 2009 and 2010.

 

How do you line up?

 

We have already seen whole list of players on our books but we would tend to lineup in the following way….

 

 

When will I see you again?

It should be easy to catch most Avaí games through Internet Streaming as all games are broadcast live here in Brazil through a Pay Per View scheme known as PFC. However 13 of our regular, Série B games will be shown Globo, Band or SporTV. These are in the following rounds…

Round 1, 4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18 and 19.

May 8, 2012 Posted by | General | 2 Comments

The Lions Keep Roaring!

Avaí 3×0 Figueirense (Catarinense state Championship Final First Leg)

 

 

After the despair of demotion last year and some shocking performances in this State Championship our lads really needed a result at the Ressacada yesterday. It was surely to be no easy task as facing the blue hearted ‘Lions’ was our arch rivals, and Brasileirão dwellers, Figueirense. I knew my finger nails would take a beating before the game started especially as we hadn’t managed to beat the black and white striped enemy in our own back yard for over three years!

It was hardly surprising that Figueirense turned up expecting us to roll over like a tame house cat but this was certainly not the case. The Ressacada was almost packed to the brim with over 16,000 supporters in the stands and the noise was immense. It was apparent that blue shirted warriors on the pitch were going to give it their all and after just two minutes had a great chance to open the scoring. Cléber Santana, who was to have a stormer of an afternoon, picked out an inch perfect pass to Felipe Alves whose strong, accurate shot was well saved by Wilson, the Figueirense goal keeper. This had set the mood and despite two last ditch, goal line clearances from the hugely impressive Avaí back four it was to be Avaí’s half with wave after wave of attack.

The first goal came after 31 minutes and it was made superbly by the Avaí midfield. Patric and Robinho combined well with a beautiful one two into the visitors area and despite being tackled well the ball found it’s way to Nunes who swept it into the back of the net. A goal that was certainly deserved but could Avaí sustain the tempo and continue to take the game Figueirense?

The passion was evident and the whole team were galvanised after taking the lead…that said it was Figueirense that came closest to scoring before the end of the first half with Ygor seeing his second chance cleared of the line. Leandro Silva blocked his shot that was destined to level things up and a passing thought ran through my head…Is this going to be our day?

This was certainly a match that you couldn’t take your eyes off and I hoped for more of the same in the second period. The Lions came out to raptures applause for the second half and once again they got off to a fine start. The fire in their bellies was clearly still there and after just 3 mins of the half Felipe Alves doubled our advantage.  It was all thanks to the impressive Cléber Santana though…His cross-cum-shot eluded the Figuierense defence and Felipe Alves, who had somehow managed to loose his marker, was free to tap the ball home.

Joy turned to elation just 5 minutes later when Cléber Santana curled a wicked free kick into the top left hand corner of Wilson’s goal. An absolute stunning effort from the Man of the Match that surely puts this tie, and with it the Championship, out of site for Figueirense.

It was a masterful performance from our heroes. The defence were solid, the midfield held up the ball and outplayed their counter-parts with the front-line finishing reminding me of our form of 2008.

The party went on long into the night but we need to remember there is still a job to done at the Scarpelli next week when  we can really finish Figueirense off!!

Hopefully you can see the highlights here:

and heres the line-ups! –

AVAÍ – Diego; Arlan, Leandro Silva, Renato Santos, Patric; Robinho (Cássio), Mika, Bruno, Cleber Santana; Nunes (Diogo Orlando) and Felipe Alves (Laércio) 

 
Figueirense –  Wilson; Pablo, Canuto, Sandro, Guilherme Santos; Ygor, Túlio, Doriva, Roni, Fernandes (Luiz Fernando); Aloisio (Julio Cesar) 

May 7, 2012 Posted by | Matches | 2 Comments

Avaí v Chapecoense (Campeonato Catarinense Semi Final Second Leg)

Never Underestimate The Power of the Lion!

This last Sunday afternoon saw the second, and deciding, clash of Avaí and Chapecoense in the Semi Final of the Campeonato Catarinense. A week earlier the sides had drawn one apiece in the Ressacada and so it was thought that Avaí would have an uphill task to win the game, and set up a potentially mouth watering final against arch rivals Figuierense or Joinville, at Chapecoense’s cauldron of a ground…The Chapecó.

The game started in feisty fashion and and both teams spurned good chances to open the scoring. Much of the game was played in midfield with Avianos Pirão and Robinho seeing a lot of the ball in the first twenty minutes of the game. The best chance for “O Leão” fell for Pirão whose fierce strike rebounded back of the crossbar. The passion and ‘raça’ was evident to see and with the travelling support fully behind them surely Avaí would find the goal needed to win this tie.

Despite the pressure and possession the missed opportunities looked costly as two minutes before half time Chapecoense broke the deadlock. The back four of Renato Santos, Leandro Silva, Arlan and Aelson were caught napping and with some fine wing play from Athos, which included a great central delivery, Esquerdinha headed the home side in front. Once again Avaí had conceded first and given themselves a massive mountain to climb!

Emerson Maria, the coach of Avaí, knew he had to make changes so at the beginning of the second half he withdrew Felipe Alves and Mauricio bringing on Patric and Ronaldo Capixaba in their places with the hope of holding up the ball in attacking moves more and finally finishing their chances. It was a brave move to make such early changes but we were venturing into ‘all or nothing’ territory and Avaí needed two goals to progress to the final. Tactically Avaí had changed their shape allowing the Chapecoense team to attack more in the hope that they could attack the space left at the back. Chances were coming and still being missed and there was a certain air of frustration creeping in. With a little fortune in the 75th minute Avaí were level. The pressure paid off….Avaí won a corner and it was launched into the middle of the area forcing the defenders to challenge for the ball in the air…it struck central defender, Leonardo, and ended up in the back of the net….Game on!

With the goal came renewed energy and vigour to the blues and not to mention much more space as the home side searched for the winner. With just nine minutes of the tie remaining Avaí scored the winner. A free kick in a promising area was struck well but saved and the rebound was smashed in by Patric. Once again despite falling behind the lion hearts had turned the game on his head and progressed to the State Championship final!

Two games against Figueirense are between us and the title. After demoting last year this will be a great victory for morale. Vamo Vamo Avaeeee.

 

Teams =

Chapecoense  – Rodolpho, Souza (Leandrinho), Leonardo, Fabiano, Diego Telles, Esquerdinha, Eliomar, Willian, Neném (Rafael Mineiro), Athos and João Paulo (Éber).

Avaí  – Diego, Renato Santos, Leandro Silva, Arlan, Aelson, Mika, Pirão, Robinho (Laércio), Cleber Santana, Felipe Alves (Patric) and Maurício (Ronaldo Capixaba).

May 3, 2012 Posted by | Matches | Leave a comment

Avaí v Chapecoense (Campeonato Catarinense Semi Final First Leg)

Sunday 22nd April 2012

This Sunday saw the first instalment of the State Championship Semi Final with ‘Leão’ taking on the present holders of the Catarinense – Associação Chapecoense de Futebol.

The Série C outfit had clearly come to the Ressacada looking to limit the attacking options of Avaí as they started the game with an extremely defensive 3-6-1 formation. There were few opportunities in the opening minutes with most supporters interest being taken up by the construction of a massive stage to the left hand side of the Stadium for the imminent Paul McCartney Concert.

Avaí chances were few and far between and despite focusing on their tight man marking and defensive duties Chapecoense found themselves a goal to the good when a costly mistake from our left wing back, Aelson, gifted an opening for Eliomar to slot home after 18 minutes.

There was definitely a feeling of ‘here we go again’ amongst the Leão faithful but just 7 minutes later we managed to level the game. A corner was half cleared by the impressive Chapecoense defence falling to Robinho who lashed it straight back into the danger area where Nunes was waiting to pounce with a powerful header into the back of Rodolpho’s net.

Finally something to cheer about. Avaí were certainly in the ascendency but Chapecoense had come to do a job and were stout in their defensive duties. After the break it became more frustrating with the away side deliberating trying to frustrate the Leão by breaking up play, time wasting and intentional fouling. There were very few clear cut chances and it was evident pretty quickly that this game would end in a draw and that the return fixture next weekend at the Chapecó is where this fight will be won or lost.

 

 

Avaí –  Diego; Arlan, Cássio, Leandro Silva, Aelson (Diego Palhinha); Bruno (Diogo Orlando), Pirão, Robinho, Cleber Santana; Felipe Alves (Maurício) and Nunes

Chapecoense – Rodolpho; Fabiano, Leonardo, Dema; Eliomar (Jean Carlos), William, Wanderson (Diego Telles), Athos, Neném, Esquerdinha; Éber (João Paulo)

 

April 23, 2012 Posted by | Matches | Leave a comment