Neymar lauds Santos after win

Sao Paulo, May 5 (IANS) Neymar praised his teammates’ ability to perform under pressure after Santos advanced to the final of Brazil’s Campeonato Paulista with a dramatic 5-4 penalty shootout victory over Mogi Mirim.

After ending 1-1 at the final whistle Saturday, Rene Junior and Ezequiel Miralles missed two of Santos’ first three attempts from the penalty spot. But Brazil’s 2012 London Olympics goalkeeper Rafael kept his side in the match by saving the shots of Carlos Alberto, Juninho and Roni, reports Xinhua.

Neymar converted with Santos’ fifth attempt before Leo and Edu Dracena also netted to hand their team victory.

“It was nerve-wracking but we showed composure when it mattered. It’s a great feeling to be in the tournament decider for a fifth time. I still don’t know what it’s like to not make the Paulista final,” a jubilant Neymar said after the match.

Playmaker Roni had opened the scoring for Mogi Mirim on the stroke of half-time before Dracena equalised 14 minutes from time.

Santos will meet the winner of Sunday’s other semifinal between Sao Paulo and Corinthians in the final May 12.

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