Brazilian League Roundup, Feb. 6
Ronaldinho scored his first goal for Flamengo on Sunday, converting a first-half penalty in his team's 3-2 victory over Boavista in the Rio de Janeiro state championship.
The result sent Flamengo into the semifinals of the Guanabara Cup, the first stage of the Rio tournament, and extended the team's winning start to the season to six matches.
Also, Botafogo edged Brazilian champion Fluminense 3-2 with a goal by Uruguay striker Sebastian Abreu and another by Argentine forward German Herrera.
In the Sao Paulo state tournament, Corinthians edged leader Palmeiras 1-0 despite protests from fans still upset with the team's disappointing elimination from the Copa Libertadores.
Ronaldinho struck his penalty firmly into the top left corner in the 24th minute to open the scoring for Flamengo in Macae, then sprinted to celebrate by punching the air and performing his traditional samba dance in front of Flamengo's cheering fans.
It was only his second match in Brazilian football after 10 seasons in Europe playing for Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona and most recently AC Milan. He was held scoreless in the team's 1-0 win over Nova Iguacu on Wednesday.
Striker Deivid added to the lead in the 49th before Boavista rallied with goals by Argentine-born striker Carlos Frontini in the 50th and in the 77th.
Young striker Negueba netted the winner for the popular Brazilian club with a shot from inside the area in the 83rd.
At the Engenhao stadium, Abreu missed a penalty in the 51st, but converted another five minutes later to even the score with Fluminense at 2-2, then Herrera netted Botafogo's winner from inside the box in the 64th. Abreu chipped the ball in his badly missed penalty, but tried it again and it worked in his second attempt.
Newly signed striker Rafael Moura scored both goals for Fluminense, which has secured a spot in the semifinals along with Botafogo.
Vasco, already eliminated after four straight losses and a draw, finally won its first match with a 3-0 thrashing of Americano at Sao Januario stadium in the debut of coach Ricardo Gomes.
The winner of the Guanabara Cup will play for the state title against the Rio Cup champion later in the tournament.
In Sao Paulo, right back Alessandro scored a 82nd-minute winner in a breakaway to give Corinthians the 1-0 win over Palmeiras at Pacaembu stadium. Corinthians won despite being outplayed by the team coached by Luiz Felipe Scolari during most of the match.
Corinthians played without veteran striker Ronaldo and left back Roberto Carlos, who were listed as injured. Both were heavily criticized by fans after the team's elimination by Colombia's Deportes Tolima last week in the Copa Libertadores, which is the only major tournament the club is yet to win.
Fans damaged players' cars and threw rocks at the team's bus over the weekend in protest, prompting Ronaldo to say he momentarily thought about early retirement because of the violence.
Palmeiras remained atop the 20-team standings despite the loss, thanks to Santos' 1-1 draw with Santo Andre at Pacaembu on Saturday. Still without striker Neymar, who is with Brazil's under-20 squad, Santos has drawn three of its last four matches.
Former Brazil and Barcelona star Rivaldo was held scoreless as fourth-place Sao Paulo lost 2-1 to Botafogo in Ribeirao Preto.
The top eight teams will advance to the quarterfinals of the Sao Paulo tournament. Corinthians, the competition's most succesful club, is ninth but has two games in hand.