LIVESTREAM: Brazil – Huge showdown – Vila Velha Tritoes @Sada Cruzeiro Saturday Oct. 28 6p (11p CEST, 6p EDT)

In what many expect to be the best game of the playoffs so far in the Brazilian Football league, the unbeaten Bela Horizonte Sada Cruzeiro will play host to the 5-1 Vila Velha Tritoes Saturday in the quarterfinals.

The winner of this game advances to the BFA semifinals to face the winner of the South Conference playoff between the Santa Maria Soldiers and Coritiba Crocodiles.

The Cruzeiro enter the game the heavy favorites with the league’s best offense (42 pts/game) and defense (allowed 2.1 pts/game). They are undefeated (6-0) and have dominated their opponents in their first year in the league. Meanwhile, the 5-1 Tritoes have had to battle to reach this far in the playoffs.

This could be called simply a rivalry but this time it is more than that. Anytime you have a former coach facing his old team, the intensity level is amped up. Levy, who has been coaching overseas for the past seven years and coached the Tritoes three years ago, actually recommended the new head coach for the Tritoes, Lonnie Hursey, for the job.  To add to the drama, he also managed to sign seven of his former Tritoes players who will also be facing their old teammates, including starting quarterback Alvaro Fadini. 


“I was the one who recommended Lonnie (Hursey) to be the head coach of the Tritões and put them in touch. He asked me about vacancies in Brazil and Tritões asked me for help to find a HC. They are winning games and reaching the apex in the playoffs, so obviously it was something that fit in and I’m happy on both sides.”

Motivation is not a problem for Levy. Despite the fact that his team has been dominating their opponents he actually uses this to motivate the players:

 “Why can’t we win? Any team can win any day. The biggest problem for the teams that faced Sada Cruzeiro this year is that they lost the game even before they started because they were impressed. Our players are not impressed; they wanted this game since the start of the season.”

Hursey on facing old friend and coaching foe Dan Levy:

With Dan I expect a well coached team that is ready to play weather they are expected to win by 50 or its going to be a grudge match. It’s been about 6 or 7 years since we coached against each other and I’m sure how we coach and what we coach has evolved since then, but we have studied film and gone over everything with the team and we will be ready Saturday night.”

Levy explains about the intangible climate of rivalry between the teams:

“They deserved to reach the final of the Conference. I also know that many players feel that we ‘steal’ their best players, such as Alvaro, Medici etc. Then there will be an extra motivation for them in terms of being a rematch game. They may not say it, but we all know it is. “

Watch the game live on Facebook. The livestream feed will go live 30 minutes prior to kickoff. Vila Velha Tritoes @Sad Cruzeiro Saturday Oct. 28 6p (11p CEST, 6p EDT)


Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.