As is par for the course in the Copa Libertadores, Thursday night’s last-16 tie between Palmeiras and Cerro Porteno of Paraguay was a molten hotbed of footballing nonsense.
First up, Palmeiras were reduced to 10 men with just four minutes of the match elapsed, when Felipe Melo was shown a straight red card for steaming in on Victor Caceres.
Still, Palmeiras muddled on and, despite being a man light for 86 minutes, managed to restrict Cerro Porteno to just one goal.
Having won the first leg 2-0 a week or two ago, that meant the Brazilian hosts were still leading 2-1 on aggregate heading into stoppage time.
It was then that things took another turn for the weird, as Palmeiras found themselves reduced to nine men thanks to a truly inexplicable melt-down from substitute Deyverson.
With the home side doing their level best to waste time at Allianz Parque, Deyverson was guilty of being a little overzealous in his approach – the winger sparking a brief outbreak of pandemonium at the death with a couple of ludicrous dives interspersed with confusing attempts to incite aggro in the stands…
Eventually, the referee saw enough and administered both Deyverson and Cerro defender Marcos Caceres with red cards amid the hubbub, taking the overall match tally to three (along with a mere 11 yellows shown over the course of both legs).
Still, Palmeiras held out and eventually went through, thus booking themselves a quarter-final berth against Chilean side Colo-Colo.
God bless the Copa Libertadores – ever the manically unstable South American cousin of the Champions League.