Internacional – Athletico Paranaense: Adaptable Defense Is The Key For Paranaense’s First Copa Do Brasil Win (1-2; 1-3 On Aggregate)
Transitional defending, covering passing lanes and a compact team shape proved vital as Athletico Paranaense won their first ever Copa do Brasil. Internacional controlled the ball, put their poor passing structure and overcommitment towards the end of the game resulted in the hosts looking vulnerable on the break.
Tactical analysis and match report by Joel Parker.
The 30th edition of the Copa do Brasil final featured two clubs who have had very little success in the competition’s history. Internacional were one of the first clubs to lift the trophy in 1992 but had only seen one final since then. Despite the success Internacional saw in the late 2000’s - two Copa Libertadores victories, developing the likes of Alexandre Pato, Luiz Adriano and Sandro during that time - it was up to Odair Hellmann to break their eight-year trophy drought.
Athletico Paranaense had knocked out both Flamengo and Grêmio to reach their first ever Copa do Brasil final. In both the quarter-finals and semi-finals they needed a penalty shootout, but Paranaense came back in both matches to reach the final.
Tiago Nunes’s team already had the upper hand going into the second leg, having beaten Internacional 1-0 at home, dominating possession in a match which could have gone either way. Both managers opted for their usual formations, Hellmann starting Internacional in a 4-3-3 formation, whilst Tiago Nunes stuck to his 4-1-4-1 system.
Bad shape versus adaptable defending
A goal behind on aggregate, Internacional were on the front foot right from the first whistle and they would test the goalkeeper within the opening minutes. Paolo Guerrero flicked the ball . . .