Brazilian League Roundup, Feb. 17

BY foxsports • February 18, 2010

Substitute striker Caio scored a late goal as Botafogo defeated Brazilian champion Flamengo 2-1 on Wednesday to reach the final of the Guanabara Cup, the first stage of the Rio de Janeiro state championship.

Botafogo will face Vasco, which beat Fluminense on penalties Saturday in the other semifinal.

The winner of the Guanabara Cup will face the winner of the Rio Cup - the tournament's second stage - for the state title.

In the Sao Paulo state championship, defending champion Corinthians defeated Mogi Mirim 3-0 in Mogi Mirim with two goals by striker Souza.

Souza replaced Ronaldo, who is being rested for the team's debut in the Copa Libertadores.

Defender Chicao also scored for Corinthians, which moved to second in the 20-team standings.

Four-time Brazilian champion Palmeiras was stunned 4-1 by Sao Caetano at its Palestra Italia stadium, while Ponte Preta edged Paulista 1-0 in Jundiai after a curling corner taken by midfielder Fabiano Gadelha went straight into the net.

Leader Santos, with Brazil striker Robinho playing on a loan from Manchester City, will host Bragantino at Vila Belmiro stadium on Thursday, while sixth-place Sao Paulo will face Barueri in Sao Paulo.

All 20 clubs face each other once and the top four reach the semifinal stage, which begins in April.

Caio netted the winner for Botafogo at Maracana stadium with a close-range shot in the 83rd minute after a deflection by Argentine teammate German Herrera in front of the goal. He beat a defender to the ball and struck the net from just outside the box.

Flamengo opened the scoring in the 24th when midfielder Vinicius Pacheco fired a right-footed shot from inside the area after a pass from former CSKA Moscow striker Vagner Love.

Botafogo started its comeback in the 33rd with a goal by defender Marcelo Cordeiro, who found an open net after Flamengo goalkeeper Bruno failed to hold on to a powerful shot by Herrera. Uruguay striker Sebastian "El Loco" Abreu set up Herrera's shot inside the area.

Abreu had a goal disallowed in the 43rd because of a hand ball.

Adriano, celebrating his 28th birthday, failed to capitalize on his few scoring chances in front of more than 40,000 fans at Maracana.

"We played better than they did, but they took advantage of a couple of opportunities and that made the difference," he said.

Flamengo and Botafogo faced each other in the state final the past three years, with Flamengo winning every time.

Botafogo coach Joel Santana was facing Flamengo for the first time since he left the club to coach South Africa in 2008. Current Flamengo coach Andrade was Santana's assistant at the time.

Botafogo is seeking its first Rio title since 2006.


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