Monday, 29 March 2010

Campeonato Paulista A1 - Week 17

Palmeiras 1-1 Mirassol
Paulista 1-0 Rio Branco
Rio Claro 1-3 Bragantino
São Caetano 2-0 Ponte Preta
Oeste 2-0 Ituano
Corinthians 4-3 São Paulo
Santos 5-0 Monte Azul
Mogi Mirim 3-2 Santo André
Botafogo SP 3-1 Sertãozinho
Portuguesa 1-2 Prudente

As the race for "The Four" hots up, one team that won't be there is Palmeiras. The Big Green had another disappointing result at home as they were held to a draw by Mirassol. It started well for Palmeiras when Robert put them ahead from the spot in the sixth minute. Palmeiras failed to build on their advantage and were pegged back twenty minutes from time when Pablo Escobar levelled for Mirassol. Paulista hauled themselves out of the relegation zone after a third straight victory, this time over fellow strugglers Rio Branco. The vital goal came with 14 minutes on the clock from Eli Sabia. Bragantino aren't totally safe from the drop but they made their life a lot easier for themselves after a 3-1 win at follow strugglers Rio Claro. Frontini put Bragantino ahead with only three minutes on the clock, Léo Jamie doubled the lead 12 minutes into the second half and his second wrapped things up. Luiz grabbed a consolation for Rio Clario 9 minutes from time.

São Caetano still have an outside chance of gatecrashing "The Four" and a 2-0 win over Ponte Preta will have helped. Fernandes set São Caetano on their way in the tenth minute but they had to wait for an injury time penalty from Eduardo to wrap things up. Oeste are still a point short of safety but they also picked up a valuable win over Ituano. The goals came late in the game, Ricardo Bueno opened the scoring eight mintues from time and Kleber wrapped things up a minute later. The big clash of the weekend saw Corinthians and São Paulo square off and the fans were treated to a classic. Corinthians went into a two goal lead from Elias and Danilo Gabriel but Jean halved the defecit before half time. Roberto Carlos restored the two goal lead of Corinthians before a double from Rodrigo Souto looked to have rescused a point for São Paulo. The game though had a dramatic conclusion when Alex Silva's own goal handed Corinthians victory two minutes into injury time. São Paulo remain in "The Four" but Corinthians are breathing down their neck a place behind.

Santos more or less confirmed top spot after a comfortable 5-0 win over Monte Azul. Marquinhos set Santos on their way after 12 minutes and Paulo Henrique Ganso doubled the lead ten minutes before half time. Ganso and Marquinhos doubled their goal tally to make it four and André Felipe wrapped things up 18 minutes from time. Santo André are now guaranteed a place in "The Four" despite going down to Mogi Mirim. Bruno Cesar put Santo André ahead in the second minute but Zulu levelled for Mogi Mirim. Then Zulu scored into his own goal to put Santo André ahead but Mogi Mirim went in level at half time. Zulu then capped an eventful day by grabbing the winner eleven minutes from time to almost secure Mogi Mirim's place in A1 next year. Botafogo are still an outside bet for "The Four" and they did their chances no harm with a 3-1 win over almost doomed Sertãozinho. Ademir Sopa but Botafogo ahead but they were stunned by an equalizer from Mendes 90 minutes from half time. André Neles restored the Botafogo lead 18 minutes in the second half and his second as the game entered injury time wrapped up the win.

The other big clash of the weekend saw Portuguesa fall out of "The Four" and Prudente leapfrog into the end of season shake up after a crucial 2-1 victory. Marco Antônio put Portuguesa ahead 10 minutes into the second half but Tadeu levelled 12 minutes later. A point was no good for either team and it was Prudente who grabbed the crucial win when Henrique Dias struck 13 minutes from time. It puts Prudente into third in the table and their destiny in now in their own hands.

Two rounds left before the play offs and they line up like this for Week 18

Palmeiras x Oeste
Rio Branco x Portuguesa
Sertãozinho x Paulista
Rio Claro x Santo André
Monte Azul x Mogi Mirim
São Paulo x Botafogo SP
Ituano x Corinthians
São Caetano x Santos
Bragantino x Prudente
Ponte Preta x Mirassol

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