Brasileiro: Round 20 Results
|Fluminense 1-1 Corinthians
Fluzao started the game on the front foot Thiago Neves and Wellington Nem were both denied from giving them the lead through some solid goalkeeping from Cassio. And despite being under pressure for large parts of the game it was the Timao who scored the game's first goal with 37 minutes on the clock. Ralf dispossessed Wagner in the Flu half and he supplied the pass for Emerson Sheik to fire in against his old club at the near post, his effort receiving a kind deflection off of Gum on its way.
The hosts had claims for a penalty early in the second half following Romarinho's high foot on Leandro Euzebio but the referee was unmoved. Midway through the second half Cassio conjured up another save to keep Fred off the scoresheet but in the 83rd minute the former Olympique Lyonnais striker eventually beat the keeper. After springing the offside trap, Fred stretched to poke Thiago Neves' cross into the back of the net, salvaging a vital point for his side in the process.
Fluminense remain in second position, one point adrift of league leaders Atletico Mineiro, but Corinthians fall to 12th place.
|Portuguesa 3-0 Palmeiras
Portuguesa moved nine points clear of Palmeiras as they overcame Luiz Felipe Scolari's side 3-0 with an impressive second-half display at the Caninde.
With each passing round it is seemingly more evident that winning the Copa do Brasil could actually have done more damage to the Verdao than good. A place in the 2013 Copa Libertadores booked, Palmeiras lack motivation to climb the league and this has left them dangerously close to the bottom. Such nonchalance appeared on Wednesday evening as they hardly tested Dida throughout the first half as both sides opted to shoot from range.
And within five minutes of the second half Lusa took the lead as Ananias blistering run and cross down the right was finished off the head of Bruno Mineiro. The hosts remained on top of the game and in the 70th minute they doubled their advantage. Rogerio's effort was tipped onto the post by Bruno but Bruno Mineiro was following up to nod in the rebound, compounding the Alviverde's woes. With five minutes left on the clock Moises completed the rout with a superb turn and low shot in the area that left the keeper rooted to the spot.
Portuguesa now occupy 13th position while Palmeiras sit in lowly 17th, four points adrift of safety and staring a potential relegation scrap in the face.
|Gremio 2-0 Vasco da Gama
Gremio took a huge step in their chase for Libertadores football by triumphing over Vasco da Gama 2-0 at the Olimpico.
Vanderlei Luxemburgo's men started brightly but long-range efforts from both Para and Kleber failed to pull a save from Fernando Prass. The Imortal Tricolor continued in total control throughout the first period and it was only thanks to a teriffic save by Fernando, denying Kleber in the 32nd minute, that the teams remained level for so long. However, with two minutes left to go before the break, the hosts took the lead. The keeper failed to deal with Marquinhos' dead-ball delivery from wide on the left and Marcelo Moreno capitalised by tapping the ball in at the back post.
The Bolivian could have had another within five minutes of the restart but a fantastic recovering challenge by Douglas stopped the striker from getting his shot away in a one-on-one situation. Vasco were frustrated soon after when they burst through on goal only for the referee to pull the play back for a contentious handball decision. It proved costly as in the 58th minute Kleber put the hosts two to the good as his low strike from 18 yards squirmed past Fernando at his near post following a wicked deflection. The Gigante de Colina responded well but they were unable to reduce the deficit, a sequence which saw Carlos Tenorio's header hit the post and Eduardo Costa's follow-up fly over the bar summing up their night.
Gremio cement third position as taking maximum points moves them five clear of Vasco who remain in fourth position, the final Libertadores qualification spot.
|Sao Paulo 4-0 Botafogo
Sao Paulo picked up their fourth consecutive win as they beat Botafogo 4-0 at the Morumbi.
Ney Franco's men took just six minutes to open the scoring against the Rio de Janeiro side and the goal came courtesy of Luis Fabiano. The former Sevilla striker latched onto Jadson's pass and dribbled round both Brinner and Jefferson before sliding the ball into the open net. Botafogo's porous defence continued to struggle and Lucas Moura could have doubled his side's lead when he strolled through the defence, but the keeper was equal to his effort. The lack of a true striker was limiting the ability of Botafogo to convert the few chances they created thereafter and they remained a goal behind as the teams went in for half-time.
They fared no better in the second half and found themselves two goals behind on the hour mark as Osvaldo smashed the rebound of a Fabiano effort into the back of the net. Lucas made it three with a spectacular solo goal two minutes later by adding a thunderous 20-yard finish to his exquisite dribble from deep. Cicero completed the scoring in the 89th minute when he tapped home from Osvaldo's square ball after initially setting the striker on his way to rounding Jefferson with an excellent through-ball.
The win sees Sao Paulo close the gap on potential Libertadores qualification to just one point from their current fifth placing while Botafogo continue to lose ground in 8th position.
|Best of the Rest
Atletico Mineiro failed to improve upon their lead at the Brasileiro summit as they were held to a 2-2 draw at home to Ponte Preta. Despite taking the lead, Santos were beaten 3-1 at home by struggling Bahia whilst Internacional were also defeated by potential relegation candidates, Coritiba, 1-0. Three second-half goals brought Nautico from two behind to defeat Figueirense 3-2, but the Florianopolis side lost no ground at the bottom as fellow strugglers Atletico Goianiense went down 2-0 to Cruzeiro. Sport Recife managed to pick up a valuable point against Flamengo but they remain four points adrift of safety.
|Player of the Round
Ananias was integral to Portuguesa's defeating of Palmeiras on Wednesday night as his individual brilliance was the key to unlocking the Verdao defence on two occasions during their 3-0 triumph. A superb dribble down the right was made all the better by an accurate cross for Bruno Mineiro to net the opener and a delightful backheel set Rogerio through on goal in the build up to his side's second. The 23-year-old impressed greatly with his ingenuity and if he can produce more of such performances in the second half of the season then Lusa have a great chance of staying up.