Sada Cruzeiro stage come from behind overtime win, reach Brazil Bowl

The Belo Horizonte Sada Cruzeiro fell behind for the first time all season, but staged a late rally to defeat the Coritiba Crocodiles 17-10 at Couto Pereira Stadium in Curitiba, Brazil, in the first Brazilian Football League semifinal.

Cruzeiro quarterback Alvaro Fadini tied the game at 10-10 with under two minutes left, to send it into overtime. But it was Belo Horizonte defender Rodolfo Santos who scored the winning touchdown in overtime. He recovered a fumble by Crocodiles quarterback Drew Banks and returned it for the touchdown. On the ensuing Coritiba possession, Banks again fumbled the ball, ending the game and sending Belo Horizonte to the Brazil Bowl in their first year in the league.

With defenses dominating to start the game, the Crocodiles struck first with Banks marching his team to the red zone and then finding wide receiver Adan Rodriguez in the end zone to give Coritiba a 7-0 lead.

Both teams missed field goals in the first half which ended with the Crocodiles holding on to their 7-0 lead.

Coritiba kicker Leonardo Rebello finally hit on a 49 yard field goal in the third quarter and the Crocodiles extended their lead to 10-0.

Playing with confidence, the Crocodiles made the first mistake of the game, as a trick play turned into an interception by the Cruzeiro. Then Sada kicker Charlston Charles kicked a field goal to close the gap to 10-3 and set up the late game heroics by Fadini.

The Cruzeiro under head coach Dan Levy are now unbeaten in 13 games stretching back to the spring and in Brazil Bowl VII will face the winner of Sunday’s other semifinal between the João Pessoa Spectros and Cuiabá Arsenal.

WATCH the replay! Belo Horizonte Sada Cruzeiro v. Coritiba Crocodiles

American Football International is your source for news and updates about American Football outside the United States!