Botafogo came from behind twice to earn a fantastic opening-day victory over the potential title challengers of Sao Paulo at the Engenhao.
Brasileiro: Round 1 Results
Brasileiro: Round 1 Results
|Botafogo 4-2 Sao Paulo
The Tricolor Paulista took an early lead when Lucas Moura's mazy dribble down the right flank ended with a cutback that was hammered in by Jadson. With Fogao still behind at the break Oswaldo de Oliveira brought on German Herrera for the ineffectual Loco Abreu and within five minutes his side were level as the Argentine striker nodded in from Lucas' deep cross. Just after the hour mark Jadson turned provider as his delivery was headed in by Luis Fabiano, but the lead would not last.
Three goals in 10 minutes turned the game on its head as Herrera slotted home from the penalty spot and Vitor Junior added another with a deflected free kick from 30 yards out. The game was put to bed in the 78th minute when Fellype Gabriel dispossessed a complacent Sao Paulo defence, passing the ball straight to Herrera to sweep home for his hat-trick.
It is a great start to the season for the Rio de Janeiro club who occupy first position after the first round of fixtures. Sao Paulo meanwhile sit in the relegation places, though that is unlikely to remain the case for much longer.
|Internacional 2-0 Coritiba
Leandro Damiao showed why he has attracted so many admirers across Europe in recent years with another fine display as Internacional eased past Coritiba at the Beira-Rio.
Inter came straight out on the offensive and took just nine minutes to get on the scoresheet. After seeing his original shot blocked, Damiao sent the ball one side of the Lucas Mendes and ran around the other before firing an emphatic finish into the roof of the net. The hosts added their second seven minutes before the break with a scintillating flowing move. Jesus Datolo began the play with a give-and-go with Dagoberto who then fed the ball into Damiao inside the area. The 22-year-old held up the ball before laying it back to his strike partner to slot into the net.
The Colorado could have added to their advantage numerous times throughout the second half but Damiao was unable to hit the back of the net again. He was thwarted by the defence or keeper on three occasions before Elton rounded Vanderlei but chipped his shot wide of the goal.
After the disappointment of elimination from the Copa Libertadores, Dorival Junior will have been pleased to have got his Brasileirao campaign off to a flying start. Coritiba however look to lack firepower up front following the departures of Marcos Aurelio and Bill.
|Vasco da Gama 2-1 Gremio
Gremio will have left the Sao Januario unable to comprehend how they were not taking the three points with them after a 2-1 defeat to Vasco da Gama.
Cristovao Borges fielded a distinctly average starting XI, clearly with one eye on the Copa Libertadores match against Corinthians in midweek, and the Immortal Tricolor seemed certain to take advantage. Marquinhos and Ezequiel Miralles provided a constant threat but it was the hosts who took charge of the game as Felipe Bastos drove a long-rang free kick past Victor. The lead was short-lived and within three minutes Gremio restored parity through Fernando.
The second half continued in the same manner and after the visitors had a seemingly legal goal ruled out for a foul on Fernando Prass, Alecsandro nodded in from Juninho Pernambucano's cross in the 69th minute. Vanderlei Luxemburgo's side had chances to level the game but Miralles failed to tap in after Prass saved from Marcelo Moreno and the former Wigan striker also missed a penalty late on.
Borges will have no doubt been delighted to have picked up three points with a weakened team but there were signs that Gremio can have a more successful season than that of 2011.
|Corinthians 0-1 Fluminense
With both sides fielding severely under-strength teams due to their Copa Libertadores commitments it was Fluminense who came out on top with a 1-0 win at the Pacaembu.
Abel Braga's team looked the more spritely in the opening stages. Manuel Lanzini initiated a quick counterattack and rolled the ball to Matheus Carvalho but he could not get past Cassio in the Corinthians goal. Thiago Carleto fared no better as his free kick from distance was parried away by the newly-acquired keeper.
Timao stepped up the pace in the second half and created the best chance of the game, winning the ball in midfield and driving forward but the final shot from Douglas hit the frame of the goal. Fluzao perservered and broke the deadlock in the 72nd minute. Youngster Marcos Junior's corner was headed back across goal and into the top corner by Leandro Euzebio.
Tite's men may have suffered defeat in their first game but nothing can be read into a match between two reserve sides. Flu will still have been elated to have taken maximum points from a difficult away trip to the reigning champions.
|Best of the Rest
Flamengo came from behind with a goal from Vagner Love to take draw 1-1 with Sport Recife while fellow newcomers Portuguesa scored late on to take a point against Palmeiras with the same scoreline. Damian Escudero's stoppage-time was the only goal of the game as Atletico Mineiro defeated Ponte Preta while Figueirense also left it to the death to triumph 2-1 at home to Nautico. Cruzeiro and Atletico Goianiense played out a 0-0 draw while a second-string Santos side could not find away past Bahia in a match that also ended without a goal.
|Player of the Round|
With Botafogo now frequently lining up with just a single striker, German Herrera has seen himself cast aside to the bench more often than he would like. His performance against Sao Paulo showed why he should be considered for more minutes in the first-team with a fantastic hat-trick at the Engenhao. His introduction galvanised the team and brought them from behind to earn a massive three points in the first game of the season.