The U-17 Brasileirão final between Fluminense and Athletico Paranaense on Monday was marred by a massive brawl that featured a flying karate kick to the face by one of the bench players and nine red cards. Fluminense won the match 2-1 to claim the title, but the outcome of the match had little importance compared to what transpired in the 93rd minute.
Check out the wild scenes at the Arena da Baixada in Curitiba, Brazil.
Athletico Paranaense (the team in red and black) player Ataide lunged at Fluminense striker João Neto (the team in white) after a foul was called, which ignited a brouhaha for the ages. Once the confrontation was escalated between the two players, the benches cleared and Athletico defender João Gabriel came in flying with a kick (with metal studs) to the face of Neto. To make matters worse, other Athletico players began stomping on Neto while he was writhing on the ground after getting a flying kick to the side of his face.
Here's another look at the moment the player was jumped and cleated and ultimately where things turned ugly in this youth match.
Neto posted a photo of his face in the dressing room shortly after the match was over where you can clearly see his left cheek and ear wounded by the flying kick.
It's a shame to see something like that happen in any match, let alone one that only featured teenaged prospects playing for a trophy. The fact that it happened toward the tail-end of the match goes to show that there might have been some ill-intent there.
Nine players were sent off before the match resumed, almost after 10 minutes. Five came from Athletico Paranaense: Ataíde, João Gabriel, Renan, Vinicius Amaral and Vitor do Carmo; four came from Fluminense: Alexsander, Eduardo, Metinho and João Neto. Yes, the same João Neto who was on the receiving end of the flying kick and left the field with a bloody face.