Brazilian League Roundup, Jan. 24
Veteran striker Dodo scored a first-half hat trick in just his
third match back from a two-year doping suspension to help Vasco
rout a 10-man Botafogo 6-0 in the Rio de Janeiro state championship
Dodo, 35, opened the scoring just three minutes into the match at Engenhao stadium with a low shot from the top of the area. He added to the lead in the 32nd with a right-footed strike from close range and completed the hat trick two minutes later with a shot from inside the area.
Midfielder Leo Gago increased Vasco's lead with a powerful free strike in the 56th, and striker Phillipe Coutinho closed the scoring with goals in the 60th and 82nd.
Botafogo played a man down from the 14th minute after midfielder Eduardo was shown a red card for a hard foul on Vasco midfielder Souza.
Dodo, who played briefly for Brazil in the late 1990s, was suspended after testing positive for the banned stimulant fenproporex while playing for rival Botafogo in a match against Vasco in the 2007 Brazilian league.
The match marked the debut of Botafogo's biggest acquisition for 2010 - Uruguay striker Sebastian Abreu, who ended substituted early in the second half.
Vasco has now won three straight games to open the Guanabara Cup, the first stage of the Rio de Janeiro state tournament.
Another three-time winner this season in Rio is Fluminense, which defeated Volta Redonda 1-0 at Maracana stadium with a goal by defender Leandro Euzebio in the fifth minute. Fluminense, which played without star striker Fred because of a minor injury, has outscored its opponents 7-0 in its first three matches.
On Saturday, former CSKA Moscow striker Vagner Love scored a pair of goals in his debut with Flamengo, helping the Brazilian champion beat Bangu 2-1 at Engenhao stadium for its third win in a row.
Love left Palmeiras earlier this year after being attacked by fans who were upset with his performance.
Flamengo is the defending champion in the Rio de Janeiro championship, which is divided in two stages. The winner of the Guanabara Cup will face the Rio Cup champion for the state title.
America, coached by former striker Bebeto and directed by Bebeto's former Brazil teammate Romario, defeated Macae 3-2 in Campos for its first win of the year.
In the Sao Paulo state championship, defending champion Corinthians picked up its second consecutive win by beating Oeste 2-1. Defender Paulo Andre scored in the 27th and midfielder Boquita added another in the 35th.
Striker Ronaldo was rested by Corinthians, but left back Roberto Carlos played the entire match at the Fonte Luminosa in Araraquara.
At Palestra Italia stadium, World Cup veteran midfielder Juninho Paulista scored a second-half goal to help Ituano draw Palmeiras 3-3. The 36-year-old Juninho is also the president of Ituano, which twice erased a two-goal deficit against the four-time national champion.
Palmeiras, which played a man down from the 61st after midfielder Gualberto was sent off, led 3-1 with 10 minutes to play.
Sao Caetano, the 2004 Sao Paulo state champion, took the competition's lead with seven points from three matches after routing Sertaozinho 5-1 in Sao Caetano do Sul.
Portuguesa fell from first to second place after a 1-1 draw with Bragantino in Braganca Paulista on Saturday.
Also Saturday, Sao Paulo earned its first win with a 3-0 victory over last-place Rio Claro at Morumbi stadium. Goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni scored his 86th career goal with a 90th-minute penalty kick, and striker Washington and midfielder Hernanes also netted for the six-time national champion.
Sao Paulo's Argentine right back Adrian Gonzalez was sent off in the second half after receiving his second yellow card.
In other results Sunday, Santos fell 2-1 at Mogi Mirim and Santo Andre beat visiting Paulista 4-2.