Palmeiras boss Abel Ferreira hails ‘cannot lose’ mentality in Libertadores draw with Atletico MG

Palmeiras overturned a two-goal deficit in the first leg of their Copa Libertadores quarter-final to earn a hard-fought draw against Atletico Mineiro.

The two Brazilian sides put on a classic in Belo Horizonte with Hulk's converted penalty and Murilo's own goal giving Atletico MG a 2-0 advantage. 

Nevertheless, the defending Copa Libertadores champions Palmeiras fought back to salvage a draw, with Murilo atoning for his error in the 59th minute and Danilo scoring the stoppage time equaliser.

Abel Ferreira believes the comeback underlined his team's inability to throw in the towel, saying in his press conference: "The result was the result of hard work by our players. They have a very strong competitive mindset and belief.

"It is a team that is successful because it knows that the maximum must be given. As a coach, I accept any result if they try hard and give their best. Some factors can disturb us mentally.

"We scored a goal that was disallowed, soon after we committed a penalty and we came back from the break with the second goal. Our players have accepted that we cannot lose, regardless of the outcome.

"Giving in and not playing our way is unacceptable. The secret is to realize all this."

He added: "In the second half we were better and got both goals. Their team is very qualified and invested heavily in recent years. But as long as my players deliver what they have, we are capable of anything."

The second leg will take place on August 10, with Palmeiras looking to seal their semi-final spot in front of their home fans in Sao Paulo.

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