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Most Small Clubs Counter Attack, Audax Played Tiki-Taka And Almost Won A Title

When talking about Brazilian soccer clubs, the average soccer fan will know a decent amount of them, like Corinthians who stunned Chelsea in the Club World Cup a few years ago, or the Internacional side that took down one of the strongest teams in history, 2006 Barcelona, or even the Sao Paulo squad that defeated Liverpool in the 2005 Club World Cup final.

A lot of people know Brazilian clubs for the players they develop and send to Europe. Like Santos, where both Pele and Neymar started their careers and Fluminense where Thiago Silva and Marcelo started playing.

But here is one team you will probably never watch on television or might not have even heard of were it not for this article. This club is Audax; or if a bold adjective is allowed, the Brazilian Barcelona.


A club with a total market value £2.29m according to Tranfermarkt, Audax made the headlines all over Brazil because of their incredible performance in the Sao Paulo State Championship this season.


Photo: @Torcedorescom | Twitter

The club from Osasco qualified from the group stage and went on a giant-killing spree during the tournament phase, bulldozing Sao Paulo 4-1 and beating Corinthians on a one-sided penalty shootout after a 2-2 tie in regulation.

Audax’s run took them all the way to the final, where they met Santos and lost 2-1 on aggregate after a clinical finish by former AC Milan striker Ricardo Oliveira.

Nevertheless, a runner-up spot and defeating the reigning national champions in the semifinal is not too shabby for a fourth division club. Still, the most interesting thing about this Audax club is the way they approach the game.

In a year where eyes were glued to the low possession counter-attack style Claudio Ranieri used to lead Leicester to the Premier League title, the biggest surprise south of the Equator was a club that made fans nostalgic for the Pep Guardiola days in Barcelona.

No long balls allowed. That was the philosophy preached by manager Fernando Diniz. Philosophy that at first cost them a few goals from build-up mistakes like this one:

But in the end it paid off and Audax gifted fans with beauties like these throughout the season:

With the curtains closed after the State Championship, the club is gearing up for the fourth division of Brazilian soccer, which means finding a new core group, as most of its main players already left to bigger clubs.

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