Monday, 22 November 2010

Campeonato Brasileiro Série A Week 36

Flamengo 2-1 Guarani
Prudente 1-1 Ceará
Grêmio 3-1 Atlético Paranaense
São Paulo 1-4 Fluminense
Palmeiras 0-2 Atlético Mineiro
Botafogo 1-2 Internacional
Vitória 1-1 Corinthians
Cruzeiro 3-1 Vasco da Gama
Avaí 3-0 Atlético Goianiense
Goiás 1-4 Santos

On Saturday Flamengo picked up a crucial victory over Guarani as they look to escape relegation. The Rubro Negro are still not safe despite this victory but there are dark days ahead for the visitors who were in just as much need for the points. Renato Abreu had Flamengo ahead inside two minutes but Baiano levelled ten minutes later. Diego Mauricio got the winner for Fla ten minutes from time. Relegated Prudente picked up a point at home to Ceará as the visitors booked their place in the top flight next season. Rhayner put Prudente ahead with 27 minutes on the clock and it looked like they were on track to pick up only their eighth win of the season until Geraldo levelled from the spot five minutes from time. Ceará had João Marcos sent off two minute from time but they can be proud of their achievement in retaining their top flight status. After their woeful pre-World Cup form who would have thought Grêmio would provisionally occupy the last Libertadores spot with two games to go. They climbed above Atlético-PR after a 3-1 victory at the Monumental. Neuton put Grêmio ahead with thirteen minutes on the clock but Paulo Baier levelled from the spot six minutes later. A Douglas penalty on the hour restored the lead for Grêmio and Diego wrapped things up in the last minute.

In the early Sunday games, Fluminense went back to the top of the table but it took the sending off of two São Paulo players before they established their dominance on proceedings at the Arena Barueri. Gum headed Fluminense ahead ten minutes before the break but Lucas Gaúcho levelled ten minutes after the break. On 63 minutes substitute Xandão was sent off after bringing Fred down when the last man and Richarlyson then went seven minutes later for abusing the referee. Dario Conca put Fluminense ahead with 17 minutes left, Rogério Ceni gifted Fred the third four minutes later and Conca wrapped things up three minutes from time with his second of the game. Leaders going into the round, Corinthians lost their place at the top of the table after being held by relegation threatened Vitória in Salvador. It all started well for Corinthians when Danilo put them ahead after twenty minutes but they were pegged back two minutes before the break when Julian Viáfara levelled from the spot. Corinthians could find a second half winner as the title race gets hotter and hotter but the result put Vitória back in the relegation zone. Palmeiras are definitely putting all their eggs in the Sudamericana basket as Atlético-MG got revenge for their exit in the same competition. An under strength Palmeiras were put to the sword at the Estádio Fonte Luminosa in Araraquara, Diego Souza put Atlético-MG ahead after half an hour and Neto Berola wrapped things up thirteen minutes from time. Atlético-MG still aren't safe but they will welcome those three points. Botafogo fell behind in the Libertadores race after their fell to only their sixth defeat of the season against Internacional at the Egnenhão. Inter, who are getting things right for the trip to the UAE next month, went ahead with 25 minutes to go through Andrezinho. Rafael Sóbis doubled the Inter lead nine minutes later but two minutes later Antônio Carlos pulled a goal back but Botafogo were unable to find an equalising goal as they fell to sixth in the table.

The late Sunday games saw Cruzeiro stay in the title picture after a blistering opening half hour gave them victory over Vasco da Gama in Sete Lagoas. Roger put Cruzeiro ahead with just 14 minutes on the clock and Henrique doubled the lead five minutes later. Edcarlos put Cruzeiro three up just after the half hour but Vasco pulled a goal back just before half time through Renato Augusto. There were no further goals in the second half but Cruzeiro are now just two points behind Fluminense in what is now a three horse title race. Avaí hauled themselves out of the relegation zone after what could be a crucial victory over fellow strugglers Atlético-GO at the Ressacada. Atléico-GO lost Thiago Feltri to a red card with just 38 minutes on the clock and the suffered a bigger blow two minutes later when Eltinho put the home side ahead. Substitute Jeférson doubled the lead for Avaí four minutes from time and a second from him a minute later put the icing on the cake for Avaí. Despite having a Sudamericana semi final on Wednesday night, Goiás were relegated to Série B after a late Neymar show saw them surrender to Santos. It started well for Goiás when Ernando put them ahead with just eleven minutes on the clock but the lead lasted just eight minutes before Danilo levelled for Santos. It all went wrong for Goiás in the last fifteen minutes as Neymar collected a hat-trick inside seven minutes to take his total to sixteen for the season as Goiás tumbled out of the top flight for the first time since 1999.

Next week all the games kick off at the same time, that will be 1900GMT on Sunday and they line up like this

Corinthians x Vasco da Gama
Palmeiras x Fluminense
Flamengo x Cruzeiro
Botafogo x Prudente
Guarani x Grêmio
Atlético Mineiro x Goiás
Internacional x Vitória
Atlético Goianiense x São Paulo
Ceará x Atlético Paranaense
Avaí x Santos

The last promotion place is still up for grabs in Série B after wins for both América-MG and Portuguesa at the weekend. Coritiba were crowned champions after their 2-2 draw at Icasa. Portuguesa beat Ipatinga to keep their promotion hopes alive whilst América-MG won 2-1 to condemn Sport Recife to another season in the second tier. The last place still lies in the hands of América-MG and it will take a minor miracle for Portuguesa to be promoted. At the other end of the table Santo André suffered relegation in consecutive seasons despite a 2-1 win over Bahia. There is no way now that Santo André can climb out of the relegation zone although it's three from five for the other relegation spots from Série B with one week to go.

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