Brasileiro: Round 26 Results
|Botafogo 2-2 Corinthians
Fogao have begun to regain some consistency in the past weeks after failing to maintain an impressive start to the season. Their third consecutive draw may worry Oswaldo de Oliveira, particularly given his side's excellent start to the match.
With just six minutes on the clock Fellype Gabriel's hooked cross found Clarence Seedorf at the back post and the veteran Dutchman steered the ball into the net. The Rio de Janeiro club were only ahead for three minutes though, as Jose Paolo Guerrero headed in his first goal for the Timao after Paulinho's initial effort was saved by Jefferson.
The game completely changed in the 13th minute as Lucas brought down Juan Manuel Martinez inside the area. The referee awarded a penalty and Douglas made sure from the spot with an accurate strike.
Botafogo remained in control of the game but were struggling to create chances to restore parity. That feat was not achieved until the 75th minute, and it was down to some individual brilliance from Seedorf.
Having received the ball on the left from Marcio Azevedo, the former AC Milan midfielder charged infield before thumping a right-footed effort into the far top corner.
A point keeps Botafogo in touch with the Copa Libertadores spots in sixth place, while Corinthians, who already have a spot in next year's tournament secured as holders, sit in eighth.
|Santos 1-3 Portuguesa
Santos showed their weakness in the absence of Neymar as they were beaten 3-1 by Portuguesa at the Pacaembu.
The Peixe lacked a clinical edge in front of goal throughout much of the first-half in the absence of their star forward. It seemed as though they would be happy to go in at half-time with the scores level, but Bruno Mineiro ensured that would not happen.
From a corner, the in-form striker got his head on Boquita's flick on to break the deadlock in the 38th minute. Things got worst for the Alvinegro before the break as Leo Silva rifled a low shot past Rafael at his near post to double Lusa's advantage.
Signs of improvement from Santos after the break were minimal as Portuguesa forced a couple of saves from Rafael after the restart, but their next goal did not come until just after the hour mark. Once more from a set play, Bruno Mineiro scored with a brilliant header for his 11th strike of the season. Andre offered Muricy Ramalho's side a lifeline when he nodded in from Bernardo's free kick 15 minutes from time, but they were unable to add any more.
The win moves Portuguesa to within just one position, and a single point, of Santos who occupy 11th position.
|Fluminense 2-1 Nautico
Fluminense enhanced their lead at the top of the Brasileiro with a 2-1 win over Nautico in Volta Redonda.
Abel Braga's team came storming out of the blocks and should well have taken the lead inside the opening 15 minutes, but neither Wellington Nem or Thiago Neves could find a way past Gideao. At the other end, Diego Cavalieri produced a magnificent save to stop Rogerio from putting the Timbu ahead midway through the half. It proved to be a pivotal moment as in the 41st minute Leandro Euzebio tapped the ball in from inside the six-yard box as Gideao failed to claim a corner.
On the stroke of half time the advantage was doubled as Fred lost his marker in the area before adding a brilliant first-time finish to Thiago Neves' low cross from the left. Both keepers were in top form after the break but with eight minutes left on the clock Cavalieri was finally beaten. Kim peeled off the defender to latch onto Douglas' pass and as Gum slid in to challenge the shot looped off the defender and into the net. The striker was unlucky not to add another in the dying moments but he was denied twice in quick succession by Cavalieri.
|Figueirense 1-3 Palmeiras
Gilson Kleina earned a massive three points in his first game in charge of Palmeiras with a 3-1 win over fellow relegation candidates Figueirense.
The new coach could not have asked for a better start to his tenure as his team opened up a two-goal lead inside the opening 10 minutes. Set piece expert Marcos Assuncao was largely to thank as his brilliant delivery was glanced in by Thiago Heleno to put the Verdao ahead in the eighth minute. Two minutes later Assuncao was at it again; Henrique beat Wilson to the midfielder's cross from the left to double the visitors' advantage.
Figueira responded well to going behind but for the most part the game grew stale after the early strikes. The second-half was a different story though, as an end-to-end start almost changed the game, but Aloisio and Joao Denoni were both unable to swing the match the way of their respective sides.
Yet in the 65th minute it looked as though Aloisio had done that as he pounced on a spill from Bruno to halve the deficit. However, two minutes later Palmeiras restored their two-goal cushion as a defensive mix-up offered Assuncao the simplest of chances to get his name on the scoresheet, and he duly obliged.
Palmeiras rise above their opponents into 18th position but still remain five points adrift of safety.
|Best of the Rest
Atletico Mineiro saw the gap at the top grow to four points as they played out a 0-0 draw with Gremio while Ponte Preta and Vasco da Gama also could not be separated, their match also finishing goalless. Osvaldo netted for the second consecutive game as Sao Paulo defeated Cruzeiro 1-0 and Flamengo ended a run of seven games without a win by triumphing 2-1 at Atletico Goianiense. Diego Forlan and Leandro Damiao were on target as Internacional overcame Bahia 3-1 and Gilberto, on loan at Sport Recife from the Porto Alegre giants, converted a stoppage-time penalty to hand his side victory against Coritiba.
|Player of the Round
Big games need big players, and Marcos Assuncao proved himself to be the lynchpin of this Palmeiras side once again, with a match-winning display against Figueirense. The midfielder is one of the best strikers of the ball in the country and his immense technique provided two assists inside the opening 10 minutes. Assuncao bossed the play in midfield and even managed to add a goal himself, warding off a Figueira comeback at the Orlando Scarpelli to pick up a vital three points. Having the 36-year-old in the side will make Gilson Kleina's task of guiding the team to safety a lot easier.