Monday, 29 November 2010

Campeonato Brasileiro Série A Week 37

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

The title race just got better and better as all ten games this weekend started at the same time. At the Pacaembu Corinthians kept their title hopes alive after a 2-0 victory over Vasco da Gama. Corinthians' leading scorer Bruno César put them ahead five minutes before the break and Danilo doubled the lead twelve minutes into the second half. Vasco finished with ten men after Zé Roberto was sent off eighteen minutes from time. At the Arena Barueri, Fluminense will go into the last week top of the pile after coming from behind the defeat Palmeiras. Dinei put Palmeiras ahead with a cracking strike with just four minutes on the clock but Carlinhos levelled fifteen minutes later. It wasn't looking good for the Tricolor when Deco hobbled off just after the half time but his replacement Tartá won the game when he struck just short of the hour. Cruzeiro are still in with a chance when they came from behind to defeat Flamengo in Volta Redonda. Diego Mauricio put Flamengo ahead with just nine minutes on the clock but Roger levelled seven minutes later. Cruzeiro needed to win this game to stay in the title hunt and Thiago Ribeiro got the winner half way through the second half. Despite the result Flamengo are safe from relegation but it is a season to forget for the Rubro-Negro.

Botafogo stayed in contention for a provisional place in the Libertadores after easily disposing of relegated Prudente at the Engenhão. Antônio Carlos put the Alvinegro ahead on the half hour and Edno doubled the lead just before the break. Willian José got Prudente back in the game half way through the second half but Marcelo Cordeiro wrapped things up from the spot for Botafogo in injury time. Guarani's season long stay in Série A was ended after they were defeated by Grêmio. André Lima put Grêmio ahead half way through the first half but they had to wait until twelve minutes from time before Jonas penalty doubled the lead. Diego made sure of the win seven minutes from time to leave Grêmio in fourth and sweating on a Libertadores spot. Atlético-MG ensured their safety in the top flight after victory over a relegated Goiás side with one eye on their midweek Copa Sudamericana final against Independiente. Diego Souza put Atlético-MG ahead with a quarter of an hour gone but Éverton Santos levelled six minutes before the break. Atlético-MG went into the break ahead though thanks to Renan Oliveira and Diego Tardelli wrapped up the points just after the hour. Vitória still occupy the last relegation spot after letting a lead slip at the Beira-Rio against Internacional. Adailton put Vitória ahead five minutes after the break and the win would have been just the tonic but Inter levelled twelve minutes later through Rafael Sóbis as they continue their preparations for the FIFA World Club Championship.

It will be a straight shoot out for the last relegation spot between Vitória and Atlético-GO after they came from behind to take what could be a valuable points against São Paulo at the Serra Dourada. They fell behind five minutes after the break when Rogerio Céni converted from the penalty spot but they grabbed a life line eight minutes later when Elias levelled. It will all come down to a last day shoot out at the Barradão next weekend. Atlético-PR's slim hopes of a provisional Libertadores spot was ended at the Castelão as they could only draw with Ceará. Rafael Santos set Atléico-PR on the right track when he put them ahead nine minutes before the break but the lead lasted only seven minutes before Magno Alves levelled. Ceará played most of the second half with ten men after Diego Sacoman was sent off a minutes after the break but Atlético-PR couldn't find the winner to keep them in the hunt for the premier continental competition. Avaí have also secured their safety in the top flight after an amazing comeback saw them defeat Santos at the Ressacada. On loan man Keirrison put Santos ahead with just nine minutes on the clock and Neymar's 17th of the season doubled the lead just after the half hour. Avaí rallied and were level by the break, Caio pulled a goal back five minutes before the break and he added another in injury time at the end of the half. With nine minutes left Avaí secured a third season in the top flight when Caio completed his hat trick to give the home side an amazing victory.

So one week to go, three teams in with a shout of winning the title and a big relegation shootout in Salvador. Inter's game takes place on Thursday to give them more time to get to the UAE for the FIFA World Club Championship but as things sit at the moment all the other games are at 1900GMT next Sunday. We suspect some meaningless games may be moved to Saturday. We will bring any news of that on Twitter and there will be live updates on there on Sunday as well. They line up like this

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

The last promotion place from Série B was taken by América-MG despite a nervy 0-0 draw at Ponte Preta. The point was enough to see them back into the top flight despite the efforts of Portuguesa who won 2-1 at Sport Recife. Brasiliense, Santo Andre, Ipatinga and América-RN were all relegated to Série C.

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