Monday, 12 September 2011

Brasileirão Petrobras - Week 23

Santos 1-0 Cruzeiro
América Mineiro 2-2 Avaí
Palmeiras 0-3 Internacional
Fluminense 1-0 Corinthians
Ceará 1-1 Atlético Goianiense
Coritiba 5-0 Botafogo
Figueirense 1-1 Vasco da Gama
Flamengo 1-2 Atlético Paranaense
Grêmio 1-0 São Paulo
Atlético Mineiro 2-0 Bahia

The week got underway on Saturday at the Vila as the Premier Sports TV cameras witnessed a goal, two dismissals and a missed penalty. Santos made it six without defeat thanks to a sixteenth goal of the season for Borges with thirteen minutes gone but Walter Montillo's missed penalty ten minutes later was to prove costly. Cruzeiro has Léo sent off for a second yellow card half way through the second half and Fabrício went for an arm into the face of Neymar in injury time but the second half was poor as Santos were happy to cling onto what they had. In Sete Lagoas, bottom of the table América-MG were on course for their fourth win of the season until a late Avaí comeback denied them. América-MG took the lead through Gilson with eight minutes gone and André Dias doubled the lead twenty minutes later. Avaí are also in relegation trouble but William pulled a goal back thirteen minutes from time and Cleverson levelled matters four minutes later.

On Sunday, Leandro Damião was the star at the Pacaembu as Internacional made it four without defeat against Palmeiras. Damião put Inter ahead with twenty four minutes gone but didn't get his second until seven minutes from time. He wrapped up a hat-trick in injury time to leave Palmeiras without a win in five. The Premier Sports TV cameras were at the Engenhão as current Champions Fluminense took on league leaders Corinthians. In a similar game to the Saturday night offering one goal again separated the side as Fred's free kick half way through the first half took a wicked deflection off Ralf to wrong foot Júlio César in the Corinthians goal. As with Santos the night before, Fluminense were happy to stick to their lead and were nearly undone in injury time as Corinthians pressed forward for an equaliser. Up north at the Castelão, Ceará were two minutes away from win number eight of the season against Atléico-GO. The home side took the lead seven minutes before the break when Edídio put them ahead but Atlético-GO made it back to back draws when Felipe levelled. If results had gone their way Botafogo could have ended the week top of the table but they were humbled at Coritiba. Emerson put the home side ahead two minutes before the break and Marcos Aurélio doubled the lead from the spot ten minutes into the second half. Bill made it three nine minutes later, Rafinha got the fourth nine minutes from time and substitute Everton Costa put the icing on the cake two minutes from time.

Vasco da Gama were another side who could have gone top given the right results this weekend but they had to settle for a draw at Figueirense. Wellington Nem fourth goal in the last six games put Figueirense ahead with just four minutes on the clock but Vasco were level twelve minutes later courtesy of Fágner. The result though lifted Vasco to second and leaves them still with a chance of completing the league and cup double. Another frustrating night for Vanderlei Luxemburgo and Flamengo as they fell to a fourth straight defeat in Macaé against an Atlético-PR side they recently eliminated from the Copa Sudamericana. Heracles put Atlético-PR ahead six minutes before the break and Ecuadorian striker Joffre Guerrón doubled the lead a minute after the break. Guerrón then got himself sent off twenty minutes from time and when Welinton pulled a goal back eight minutes from time Flamengo had the chance to steal a point but Atlético-PR held on for what could be a vital win for them. São Paulo were yet another side to miss out on going top of the table when they fell to defeat to Grêmio at the Olímpico Monumental in Porto Alegre. One goal again enough to seperate the sides and it came twenty minutes into the second half when Douglas scored his fifth goal of the season. Atlético-MG hauled themselves out of the relegation zone and dropped Bahia into it after victory in the final game of the week in Sete Lagoas. Magno Alves put Atlético-MG ahead from the spot just before half time after Bahia had Paulo Miranda sent off for the challenge which conceded the spot kick. Magno Alves doubled his tally on the night, and took him into double figures for the season, when increased the Atlético-MG lead ten minutes into the second half.

Again this week proves what an unpredictable league this can be with only Vasco da Gama of the top four picking up any points over the weekend. The biggest surprise result of the weekend was probably Botafogo's defeat at Coritiba but Corinthians and São Paulo will be kicking themselves over not taking their chances. And there is also movement at the bottom of the table with Atlético-MG hauling themselves out of the relegation zone for the first time in a long time.

No midweek games with the first leg of the Copa Roca between Brazil and Argentina due to take place in Córdoba on Wednesday night. We're back next week with week 24. The line up like this with three derbies thrown into the mix as well.

Atlético Goianiense x Atlético Mineiro
Vasco da Gama x Grêmio
São Paulo x Ceará - LIVE on Premier Sports TV Saturday 10pm
Bahia x Fluminense
Atlético Paranaense x Figueirense
Avaí x Palmeiras - Delayed coverage on Premier Sports TV next Monday 1130pm
Botafogo x Flamengo
Corinthians x Santos
Cruzeiro x América Mineiro
Internacional x Coritiba

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