Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Campeonato Brasileiro Série A Week 37

Palmeiras 3-1 Atlético Miniero
Grêmio 4-2 Barueri
Atlético Paranaense 2-0 Botafogo
Cruzeiro 4-1 Coritiba
Corinthians 0-2 Flamengo
Sport Recife 1-2 Internacional
Santo André 5-3 Náutico
Avaí 2-2 Santos
Goiás 4-2 São Paulo
Fluminense 4-0 Vitória

Another crazy week in the Brasileiro which saw the lead at the top of the table change hands again with only 90 minutes of the season left and the remarkable escape of Fluminense continue at the bottom of the table.

São Paulo drop from top to fourth after their second successive defeat, this time away at Goiás. Washington put the Champions ahead after 15 minutes but they went into the break behind after Vitor and Rithely struck for Goiás. Fernandão made it three before Washington's second got São back into the game with 20 minutes to go. It took Goiás less than a minute to resote their two goal cushion. Léo Lima with the crucial goal to condemn São to a second succesive defeat. Flamengo take over at the top of the table after a controversial 2-0 victory over Corinthians. It was billed as Ronaldo v Adriano, but the latter didn't even make the run on side and Ronaldo hobbled off with injury before half time. Zé Roberto put Fla ahead with 26 minutes gone, Corinthians then had Chicão sent off with 20 minutes to go and when Fla were awarded a penalty in the last minute it was all too much for one fan who ran onto the pitch to confront the referee. Leo Moura dispatched the penalty and the title is now in Flamengo's hands. Flamengo are now assured a place in the 2010 Copa Libertadores.

Internacional and Palmeiras also leapfrogged over São Paulo. Inter moved into second after coming from a goal down at already relegated Sport. Vandinho put Sport ahead but Inter kept going and Kleber equalized half way through the second half and Andrezinho got the winner with 7 minutes left. Palmeiras emerged from their recent run of bad form to claim a victory over Atlético-MG and condemn them to a place in the Sudamericana next season. Cleiton Xavier put Palmeiras ahead in the first minute but Diego Tardelli's 19th of the season levelled things with 12 minutes on the clock. 4 minutes later Palmeiras were back ahead through Diego Souza and Vagner Love added a third on half time to wrap up the points. Cruzeiro remain the only team with a chance of a Libertadores spot after they put Coritiba in a whole heap of relegation trouble with a 4-1 victory. Jeci put Coritiba ahead with 11 minutes gone but they were sunk under a blue tidal wave as two goal just before half time from Henrique and Jonathan sent Cruzeiro into the break ahead before Wellington Paulista and Eliandro put the game beyond the reach of Coritiba and left them staring into the abyss of Série B.

Atlético-PR are now safe after they won their crucial battle with Botafogo in Curitiba. Wallyson put Atlético-PR ahead six minutes before half time and Paulo Baier finished things off 15 minutes from time. Botafogo now fall into the last relegation spot after the great escape of Fluminense continued in the Maracanã after they showed great bouncebackability after the disappointment in Quito in midweek to dispose of Vitória 4-0. They game was all over with 5 minutes on the clock as Fluminense were already two up through Alan and Fred. A brace from Dario Conca doubled the lead in the second half but three red cards marred the final 7 mintues of the game. It's the first time that Fluminense have been out of the relegation zone all season. Náutico's 5-3 defeat to Santo André left them relegated alongside Recife rivals Sport. Nunes and Wanderley put Santo André two up before Carlinhos Bala pulled a goal back. Wanderley's second ensured a two goal cushion at half time for Santo André before Romulo extended the lead to 4-1. Anderson Lessa pulled one back on the hour for Náutico before a second for Nunes made it 5-2 with 15 minutes to go. Nilson's goal with 9 minutes left for Náutico turned out to be little more than consolation.

In the games that didn't matter, Grêmio ensured they stayed unbeaten at home all season in the league when they beat Barueri 4-2. Grêmio were three up before half time thanks to Douglas Costa, Souza and Adilson. Barueri hit back with a brace from Val Baiano, his 17th and 18th goals of the season, before Maxi López secured the points for Grêmio with a goal in injury time. Avaí raced into a two goal lead against Santos thanks to two goals from Cristian in the opening 9 minutes. Kléber Pereira pulled one back just before the half hour before Adaílton was sent off for a second yellow card. Paulo Henrique Lima rescued a point for Santos though when he struck with a minute to go in regulation.

So that's it, we're down to the final 90 minutes of the season. We at CONMEBalls will be bringing you all the action live and as it happens from 1900 GMT next weekend. The format is yet to be decided but we'll let you know well in advance what we are doing.

Can Flamengo win Série A for the first time and claim their first national title since 1992? Only a win will guarantee them the title and they welcome a Grêmio side with the worst away record in the league. Inter host Santo André who must win to stay up, Palmeiras travel to Botafogo who also must win to stay up whilst São Paulo entertain relegated Sport. Who will join Sport and Náutico in Série B next year? You can pick two from four for the unwanted honour. Already mentioned are Santo André and Botafogo who face title challengers, the other two sides in the mire, Coritiba and Fluminense go head to head.

Here is how they line up for Week 38......

Barueri x Atlético Paranaense
Náutico x Avaí
Atlético Miniero x Corinthians
Santos x Cruzeiro
Coritiba x Fluminense
Vitória x Goiás
Flamengo x Grêmio
Botafogo x Palmeiras
Internacional x Santo André
São Paulo x Sport Recife

Meanwhile, Série B came to a conclusion at the weekend and as expected Vasco da Gama returned to the top flight as champions, finishing 7 points clear of Guarani de Campinas. Joining them in the top flight are Ceará and Atlético Goianiense.

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