Bahia – Grêmio: Serious Grêmio Knocks Bahia Out Of Copa Do Brasil (0-1)
Grêmio qualified for the Copa do Brasil semi-finals by essentially maintaining composure against their rivals and making little mistakes. In the first half, Grêmio’s attempts at attacking through the wings were mostly stopped by the organized Bahia defense. In the second half, Bahia tried to be more aggressive in search for a goal, but that came at the cost of Grêmio counterattacks, which sentenced their fate.
Tactical analysis and match report by José Pérez.
Brazil is a ruthless environment for coaches. You bring in results, or you’re gone. About three years ago, Roger Machado was considered one of the upcoming Brazilian coaching superstars, proposing more modern coaching methods and a faster, more intense playing style. However, after his positive and well-received tenure at Grêmio (2015-16), his stock has decreased with successive failures at Atlético Mineiro (2017) and Palmeiras (2018), where he was fired mid-season in both cases.
That’s how Machado has ended up coaching the humbler Bahia. He faced his former team Grêmio in this Copa do Brasil tie. Bahia are arguably the leading club of the Brazilian northeast region, yet at the national level, they are much less successful and renowned than the giant clubs from the richer southern cities (São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre).
Given this underdog status, Bahia’s football identity is a more defensive one, often staying in a low-to-medium block, A low block refers to a team that retreats deep in their own half out of possession, generally only disrupting their opponents around their own box. A medium block refers to a team that retreats in . . .