The two-time World Player of the Year was instrumental in Galo's fourth consecutive win as they snatched all three points in a seven-goal thriller in Florianopolis
Brasileiro: Round 9 Results
|Figueirense 3-4 Atletico Mineiro
Galo originally took the lead in the 18th minute as Ronaldinho withstood Wilson's mind games to slot home comfortably from the spot after Marcos Rocha was fouled in the area. Before the first half was out however, the visitors would find themselves behind. First, some awful marking allowed Fred to head the ball across the box and Anderson Conceicao dutifully finished. Then, Julio Cesar latched onto debutant Sebastian Abreu's first-time pass and rounded Victor before taking his time to pick out an undefended spot in the goal in first-half stoppage time.
Fifteen minutes after the restart Julio Cesar turned provider as he laid the ball off for Roni whose shot slipped through the fingers of Victor and into the net. Galo responded in phenomenal fashion as Leonardo Silva headed in from Ronaldinho's free kick five minutes later and parity was restored when the former Barcelona and AC Milan man released Jo who crossed for Bernard to nod home at the back post. The turnaround was complete 14 minutes from time when Guilherme swept home from Serginho's cutback to stun the home crowd.
It was a tremendous display of character from Cuca's side who remain on top of the league with the three points. Figueira meanwhile sit narrowly above the relegation zone in 16th position.
|Botafogo 1-1 Fluminense
Botafogo and Fluminense shared the spoils in the Classico Vovo with a 1-1 draw at the Engenhao.
Both teams played great passing football throughout the 90 minutes but, during the first half, goal-scoring chances were scarce. With 15 minutes played Fogao broke at pace and with the ball just outside the box in a right-of-centre position, Andrezinho saw his low shot turned around the post by second-choice keeper Ricardo Berna. Anderson failed to convert Flu's best chance of the half as he made poor contact with Thiago Neves' free kick at the back post. At the other end, Andrezinho blasted over from a similar position to that of his first effort.
However, opportunities were to be seized in the second half as within eight minutes of the restart Fluzao took the lead. Thiago Neves' corner was met in the area by Fred who climbed above his marker to nod in the game's opening goal. For their part, Botafogo were unperturbed and continued to search out a goal. They found it in the 67th minute when Marcio Azevedo did well to break into the penalty area and duck inside Bruno before crossing for Andrezinho to head in at the back post. Profligacy in front of goal soon returned, though, as Fellype Gabriel, Fred and Thiago Neves all missed opportunities to secure all the points for their respective teams.
Botafogo remain in the Copa Libertadores places following their midweek win over Corinthians. Fluminense drop to third position and saw the gap at the top widen following Atletico Mineiro's win.
|Cruzeiro 1-3 Gremio
Cruzeiro's slide down the table continued as they suffered their third consecutive defeat, losing 3-1 to 10-man Gremio at the Independencia.
The Raposa started the game well and once again looked fairly competent in possession but three first-half minutes saw them fall two goals behind as the visitors terrorised their left flank. A string of passes opened space for Elano, making his debut after his transfer from Santos, to get in a cross which Marcelo Moreno headed past Fabio in the 26th minute. Moments later right-back Tony charged to the byeline and cut the ball back. Moreno put a light touch on the ball to divert it into the path of Kleber who slid the ball under the keeper and in.
Werley was sent off for the Imortal Tricolor shortly before the break but the hosts failed to capitalise on their man advantage in the second half. With 65 minutes on the clock Souza pierced through the Cruzeiro defence with a colossal run and passed to Moreno from the left of the area. The Bolivian international took his time, shifting the ball into space before rifling a low shot into the far corner. Wellington Paulista scored from the penalty spot in the fourth minute of stoppage time in what was nothing but a consolation goal for the hosts.
Cruzeiro now occupy 10th position despite having been top of the table at the end of the sixth round of fixtures. Gremio, meanwhile, have recovered from two consecutive defeats and now sit in sixth position.
|Palmeiras 1-1 Sao Paulo
A crowd of under 9000 paid to watch the Classico between Palmeiras and Sao Paulo at the Arena Barueri that ended in a stalemate.
The Verdao came into the game off the back of their Copa do Brasil triumph in midweek but found themselves facing an uphill task to lift themselves out of the relegation zone after 13 minutes. Jadson's free kick found an unmarked Luis Fabiano at the back post and the former Sevilla striker poked the ball past Bruno to give Ney Franco's men the lead in his first game in charge. Both teams became very sloppy in possession with a large number of passes being misplaced. Betinho was gifted an opportunity to level midway through the first half when Douglas passed him the ball in his own area but Denis managed to save from an acute angle.
Henrique made things even tougher for his side when he was dismissed after a reckless challenge on Douglas earned him his second yellow card. However, within a matter of minutes Palmeiras were awarded a penalty after Rafael Toloi felled Jorge Valdivia in the area. The Chilean took the responsibility from 12 yards but Denis guessed the right way and the ball was cleared away. Bruno then made a fantastic save to deny Osvaldo and it proved vital as moments later Felipao's side equalised. Denis batted away Mazinho's initial effort from Maikon Leite's corner but the ball found its way back to the striker and he bested the keeper at the second time of asking in the 82nd minute.
Neither team played particularly well but Palmeiras deserved their point for the manner in which they fought back with 10 men, butt they remain in 19th position. It was not the start that Franco would have wanted to his Sao Paulo career but nevertheless the team remain in seventh place.
|Best of the Rest
Danilo scored twice as Corinthians came from behind to defeat Nautico 2-1 at the Pacaembu. With both team missing their star players due to international duty, Internacional and Santos played out a dire 0-0 draw. Flamengo managed to scrape a 2-1 win away at Bahia despite having 10 men for the whole second half and Ponte Preta triumphed 4-1 over Copa do Brasil runners-up Coritiba. Vasco da Gama could only muster a single-goal victory over bottom club Atletico Goianiense, and Sport Recife overcame Portuguesa 2-1 at the Ilha do Retiro.
|Player of the Round
The Coritiba defence did not get a moment's respite as Roger terrorised them all evening and scored a hat-trick as Ponte Preta secured another impressive win. His first was a fantastic driven effort that skidded low into the bottom corner before he showed tremendous tenacity to close down Emerson in the Coxa half before racing to goal and sliding in his second. The trio of goals was completed in second-half stoppage time with a left-footed volley that caught Vanderlei by surprise and snuck in the corner. The Campinas side now sit comfortably in the top half after a great start to their Brasileiro campaign.