Friday, 2 September 2011

Brasileirão Petrobras - Week 20

Corinthians 3-2 Grêmio
Vasco da Gama 3-1 Ceará
Cruzeiro 2-4 Figueirense
Atlético Goianiense 3-1 Coritiba
Atlético Paranaense 0-1 Atlético Mineiro
São Paulo 1-2 Fluminense
Botafogo 3-1 Palmeiras
Internacional 3-3 Santos
Avaí 3-2 Flamengo
Bahia 0-0 América Mineiro

Despite finishing the game with nine men and with other results going their way Corinthians extended their lead at the top of the table after victory over Grêmio at the Pacaembu. Corinthians went ahead after seventeen minutes when Chicão converted from the spot but five minutes before the break Douglas free kick levelled for the visitors. The home side restored their lead twenty minutes after the break through Paulihno and doubled their lead two minutes later when Ramon struck. A minute later Liédson was the first player to go and Grêmio cut the lead to one when André Lima hit back five minutes later. Twelve mintues from time Edenilson became the second player to go after a caution for time wasting but Corinthians clung on for a valuable win. Vasco da Gama paid tribute to ill coach Ricardo Gomes before a 3-1 victory over Ceará at the São Januário moved them into title contention. Elton put Vasco ahead six minutes after the break and Éder Luís doubled the lead ten minutes later. Washington got Ceará back in the game four minutes later but Vasco immediately hit back through Elton to secure victory. Cruzeiro's two game winning streak was ended when Figueirense claimed the points with a 4-2 victory in Ipatinga. Julio Cesar put the visitors ahead just before the half hour and Elias doubeld the lead ten minutes before the break. Charles pulled a goal back from Cruzeiro three minutes later but Wellington Nem restored the two goal advantage five minutes after the break. A second for Julio Cesar eight minutes later made the game safe and a second for Charles two minutes after was little more than consolation for Cruzeiro.

Atlético-GO are the form team in the competition at the moment when they made it five victories in a row after defeating Coritibta at the Serra Dourada. A penalty from Marcio eleven minutes before the break set Atlético-GO on their way and an own goal from Pereira doubled their advantage on the hour. Coritiba gave themselves a chance with four minutes to go when Anderson Aquino halved the deficit but Anselmo settled Atlético-GO nerves with the third in injury time. In the big relegation zone clash at the Arena de Baixada, Atlético-MG produced a resolute display to snatch all three points against Atlético-PR. One goal was enough for Atlético-MG and it came from a Mancini penalty twenty minutes from time. The result moves Atlético-MG above Atlético-PR in the league standings. São Paulo lost ground in the title race when they fell to a surprising home defeat to current champions Fluminense. Manuel Lanzini put Fluminense ahead with seventeen mintues gone and Rafael Sobis doubled the lead with twenty six minutes left. A penalty from Rogério Ceni gave São Paulo hope with sixteen minutes left but the dismissal of Jean eight minutes from time left them with too much to do to claim a point. Botafogo are now right in title contention after they defeated a Palmeiras side which has recently become inconsistent. German Herrera put Botafogo ahead at the Engenhão with just three minutes gone and twenty minutes later Gustavo doubled the lead. Maicosuel made it three just after the hour and Marcos Assunçao's injury time goal for Palmeiras was little more than consolation.

At the Beira-Rio, Santos pulled off a stunning late comeback to deny Internacional all three points. The meeting of the last two Libertadores winners started well for the 2010 winners when Bolívar put them ahead with eight minutes gone. Ten minutes later a ninth goal of the season for Leandro Damião doubled the lead and when Oscar scored past his own goalkeeper with nineteen minutes left you would have though that was that. The Brasileirão's leading scorer Borges sparked the fightback with fifteen minutes to go and Alan Kardec got a second for Santos five minutes later. The comeback was completed by the current Libertadores champions five minutes from time when Borges got his fourteenth goal of the campaign to stun the home fans. Flamengo were another side to lose pace in the title race when they fell to defeat to Avaí at the Recassada. Robinho put Avaí ahead with just three minutes gone but Flamengo went into the break on level terms thanks to Ronaldinho Gáucho's eleventh goal of the season in the 37th minute - and what a goal, direct from a corner and he clearly meant it. Lincoln restored the Avaí lead with twenty mintues left and substitute Rafael Coelho doubled the lead two minutes later. A second from Ronaldhino Gáucho two minutes from time gave Avaí a nervy ending but they held on haul themselves out of the relegation zone for the first time this year and hampered the title hopes of Flamengo. On Thursday night the final game of the week took place in Salvador as Bahia fell into the relegation zone after a 0-0 draw with cellar dwellers América-MG. The game was a poor advert for the Brasileirão with little on show from both teams and it could well be a long second half of the season as both teams try to fight the drop to Série B in 2012.

And a full round to keep you going this weekend with week 21. Only 9 games taking place though as the CBF have postponed the Santos x Botafogo game due to the number of players from Santos involved in the Brazil friendly against Ghana on Monday night in London. That was to be the Sunday game on Premier Sports TV but now the action will come from Coritiba instead.

Otherwise they line up like this

Fluminense x Atlético Goianiense
Atlético Mineiro x Avaí
Figueirense x São Paulo - LIVE on Premier Sports TV - Saturday 10pm Palmeiras x Cruzeiro
Flamengo x Bahia
Grêmio x Atlético Paranaense
Coritiba x Corinthians - LIVE on Premier Sports TV - Sunday 8pm
América Mineiro x Vasco da Gama
Ceará x Internacional

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