Brasileiro Round 37: Bernard on target as Atletico Mineiro defeat Botafogo

The 20-year-old has been the subject of much media speculation and he enhanced his reputation with a brilliant strike as Galo kept second position in their sights

Brasileiro: Round 37 Results


Botafogo 2-3 Atletico Mineiro

Atletico Mineiro booked an automatic place in the Copa Libertadores with a 3-2 win against Botafogo at the Engenhao.

Things started well for Galo as Bernard showed another string to his bow with an accurate 20-yard free kick that sailed into the top corner after 14 minutes. However, two goals in two minutes just before the half hour mark turned the game on its head. Antonio Carlos' header crashed in off the bar from Clarence Seedorf's corner before another set play ended with Elkeson drilling a low shot past Victor.

Junior Cesar was dismissed with 67 minutes played but it proved not to hinder the Belo Horizonte outfit, and they equalised through Richarlyson in the closing stages. Yet there was still time for more drama as Lucas saw red for Fogao and the visitors netted a late winner through the imperious Rever.

Victory ensures Galo return to South America's premier club competition in 2013 while Botafogo drop to seventh and will have to settle for the Copa Sudamericana.

Sport Recife 1-1 Fluminense

Sport Recife kept their hopes of survival alive with a 1-1 draw against champions Fluminense at the Ilha do Retiro.

With their goal for the season completed, Abel Braga's side may have been considered guilty of easing off in their latest match. Nevertheless, it was they who took the lead through the tournament's top scorer - Fred. Rafael Sobis' corner fell at the feet of the former Olympique Lyonnais man and he rifled the ball into the bottom corner for his 20th strike of the season.

But the visitors were unable to hold off until half time and after Gilberto flicked the ball onto Felipe Azevedo, the attacking midfielder raced through on goal and supplied an excellent finish. Both keepers were on form after the break as neither team could find the decisive goal.

Sport must now beat local rivals Nautico on the final day of the season and hope Bahia lose if they are to have any chance of staying in Serie A.

Figueirense 2-4 Gremio

Gremio kept hold of second position with a 4-2 triumph against already relegated Figueirense at the Orlando Scarpelli.

The Imortal Tricolor raced into a fantastic lead as their superior quality was readily evident. Elano got the scoring under way midway through the first half before a quickfire double on the stroke of the break ensured a three-goal cushion. Ze Roberto slammed in the second and Elano then turned provider as Souza headed in from his corner.

Complacency set in after the break though and Figueira were offered a route back into the game and Sao Paulo-bound Aloisio was the inspiration. After tucking away a penalty in the 65th minute he halved the deficit as he diverted a speculative shot into the back of the net. But there was to be no memorable comeback as 19-year-old Leandro completed a brilliant counter-attack with a composed effort to beat Tiago Volpi.

A win against Porto Alegre rivals Internacional in Round 38 will secure second position for Vanderlei Luxemburgo's side while Figueirense have dropped to the foot of the table.

Corinthians 1-1 Santos

In a replay of the 2012 Libertadores semi-final there was nothing to separate Corinthians and Santos in a 1-1 draw at the Pacaembu.

Had that game gone differently then this Classico Alvinegro may well have had a potentially greater impact but both sets of fans were eager for the result. There was no Neymar for the Peixe but it was another target for Europe's elite clubs who broke the deadlock in the 36th minute. Felipe Anderson and Andre combined to cut apart the Santos defence with the former nestling an effort in the bottom corner.

Corinthians fought back impressively in the second half and managed to secure a late equaliser. Jorge Henrique's out-swinging free kick was met by the head of Wallace who picked out the bottom corner with an 80th-minute header.

The Timao have hit good form at the perfect time, just a few weeks before the Club World Cup, and now sit in sixth position while Santos occupy 10th.

Best of the Rest

Rio de Janeiro rivals Vasco da Gama and Flamengo drew 1-1 while Palmeiras' misery was compounded with a 2-1 defeat to Atletico Goianiense. Portuguesa took a huge step towards safety with a 2-0 win away at Internacional and Bahia's 1-1 draw Nautico moved them three points clear of the drop zone. A 0-0 draw with Ponte Preta was enough to put Sao Paulo into the Libertadores while Cruzeiro defeated Coritiba 2-1.

Player of the Round

Elano has enjoyed a real renaissance since departing Santos to join Gremio and he was once again at his creative best as his new side defeated Figueirense 4-2. After opening the scoring with a cool finish in the first half he went on to supply to assists to ensure his side kept hold of second position in the Brasileiro. The Porto Alegre side will once again compete in the Copa Libertadores and he has been integral to their qualification.