BRA: Corinthians, Vasco remain tied

BY foxsports • November 13, 2011

Corinthians held on for a 2-1 victory over Atletico Paranaense and Vasco da Gama defeated Botafogo 2-0 to stay tied for the Brazilian league lead on Sunday.

The winning teams opened a five-point cushion ahead of the rest of the pack with just four rounds to go. Corinthians is currently ahead of Vasco if a tiebreaker is needed because it has an extra victory.

Ronaldinho's Flamengo lost 2-0 to Coritiba and is virtually out of contention, while defending champion Fluminense's title chances diminished significantly on Saturday after losing at home to lowly America.

Fluminense and Figueirense are tied in third place, while Botafogo and Flamengo are next, six points off the pace.

Corinthians, seeking its fifth league title and first since 2005, scored two goals just five minutes into the match at Pacaembu stadium. But Atletico Paranaense pulled one back early in the second half and then twice hit the goal frame as it pressed forward through to the final whistle.

Midfielder Paulinho opened the scoring in the second minute and striker Emerson added to the lead in the fourth. Veteran playmaker Paulo Baier scored for Atletico Paranaense in the 47th.

Atletico Paranaense's Nieto hit the crossbar in the 57th and the ball nearly crossed the goal line before being saved by goalkeeper Julio Cesar, who was helpless when Paulo Baier's low shot in the 76th struck the post.

The result keeps Atletico Paranaense in the relegation zone but marked the second consecutive week that Corinthians struggled against teams in danger of demotion, with the team losing 2-1 to America last Sunday.

Vasco didn't let Corinthians get away thanks to its victory against Botafogo at Engenhao stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

Midfielder Fellipe Bastos opened the scoring with a shot from the top of the area in the 16th, and defender Dede added to the lead with a header in the 60th. Playmaker Diego Souza missed a penalty for Vasco in the 34th.

The four-time national champion won despite playing a man down from the 76th after midfielder Romulo was sent off for harshly complaining with the referee following a foul.

Vasco hasn't won the national league since 2000, when Romario was its biggest star.

Flamengo, coming off a 5-1 routing of Cruzeiro, allowed two first-half goals in its loss to Coritiba at Couto Pereira stadium in Curitiba. Brazil's most popular club complained about the refereeing, mostly because Ronaldinho's first-half penalty claims were ignored.

Fluminense lost ground to the leaders after falling 2-1 to America at the Engenhao on Saturday.

Kempes and Alessandro scored for America, while Fluminense pulled one back through Rafael Moura late in the match.

Recently promoted America entered the weekend last in the 20-team standings, but left the bottom spot with the victory. The team is still in the relegation zone with only 31 points from 34 matches.

Also Saturday, striker Luis Fabiano scored his first goals since returning to Sao Paulo, striking twice to help the six-time champion win 2-0 in Sao Paulo and condemn Avai to last place in the standings. The former Sevilla striker scored in the 57th and 64th minutes at Morumbi stadium.

Luis Fabiano signed with Sao Paulo at the beginning of the year but only made his debut in early October because of a series of injuries.

Figueirense moved near the top of the standings after extending its winning streak to six matches with a 2-1 victory against Atletico Mineiro in Florianopolis on Saturday. Striker Julio Cesar scored an 87th-minute winner at Orlando Scarpelli stadium. Figueirense is now unbeaten in 13 matches.

Santos, without Neymar and Paulo Henrique Ganso, defeated Ceara 3-2 in Fortaleza on Sunday. Midfielder Diogo scored the winner in the 73rd, two minutes after Santos goalkeeper Aranha saved a penalty.

Santos played without most of its regular starters because it is preparing for FIFA's Club World Cup, which will be played in December in Japan.

Luiz Felipe Scolari's Palmeiras led a two-goal lead slip to draw 2-2 at Gremio after the hosts scored two late goals, including a long-range shot in the final seconds, at Olimpico stadium in Porto Alegre.

Palmeiras, an eight-time national champion, was trying to win its first match in nine rounds. It had lost its last four and is 14th in the standings, still not out of relegation danger.

Two-time champion Cruzeiro moved out of relegation zone by downing Internacional 1-0 in Minas Gerais from a goal by Argentine striker Ernesto Farias.


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