Brasileiro: Round 13 Results
|Sao Paulo 4-1 Flamengo
A decent crowd turned out at the Morumbi and they were not to be disappointed. In the opening 25 minutes Luis Fabiano showed it was going to be difficult to keep him quiet as he forced two fantastic saves from Paulo Victor. It looked like it would stay goalless until half-time but a quick-fire double from the hosts handed them a solid lead going into the break. With three minutes of the first half remaining, Maicon saw his 20-yard effort bounce past Paulo Victor and into the far corner. Then, in the second minute of stoppage time, Luis Fabiano headed in at the back post from Jadson's corner, but received yet another yellow card for his over-exuberant celebration.
On the hour mark the former Sevilla man scored his second as Marcos Gonzalez's lack of pace was exploited and the ball was eventually played to Cortez. He chipped the ball to the penalty spot where Fabiano was free to steer the ball in with his head. Ramon pulled one back with a left-footed effort that snuck in at the near post past an unsighted Rogerio Ceni, but it was not enough for Flamengo, who continued to struggle. In the final moments of the match Fabiano lofted a pass over the defence to Jadson, who poked the ball home with the outside of his right boot.
The Tricolor therefore stay among the top teams in seventh position, four places and six points above Flamengo.
|Santos 2-1 Ponte Preta
Santos won their first game since Rafael, Ganso and Neymar departed for the Olympic Games but they left it late to defeat Ponte Preta 2-1.
The Peixe started the game positively and they had the best early chance as a strong hand from Roberto Tigrao stopped Henrique's effort from the edge of the box flying into the roof of the net. They continued to press but Bill was misfiring on his Santos debut, yet the hosts did take the lead in the 37th minute when Bruno Peres surged forward to receive Victor Andrade's backheel and his cross-goal attempt nestled in the bottom corner. The Macaca had shown signs of danger all night against a porous Santos defence and Somalia's ferocious effort almost restored parity before the break, but it shaded the outside of the post.
The second half followed a similar pattern with both sides threatening going forward, though the majority of efforts came from long range. That was until the 79th minute, when Tiago Alves looped a header over Aranha that bounced down off the bar and somehow stayed out of the goal. Roger burst to life moments later and after having an effort parried aside by Aranha he found the net with a low drive in at the near post after a great turn and pass by Rildo. Their hard work had paid off but three minutes later they were behind again as Ezequiel Miralles broke past the defensive line to meet Henrique's lofted pass, rounded the keeper and tucked away the winner.
Santos move out of the relegation zone with just their second win of the season, while Ponte Preta drop one place to 10th and are now four games without a win.
|Fluminense 0-0 Atletico Mineiro
There was a bumper crowd at the Engenhao as two of the top three, Fluminense and Atletico Mineiro, went head-to-head, but the game failed to live up to pre-match expectations.
Fluzao used the home fans to help them seize the initiative early in the match and Fred could well have given them something to cheer within four minutes but he volleyed wide when under pressure in the area. Thiago Neves had a 13th-minute effort from distance comfortably saved before Galo managed their first decent attempt. But despite forcing Diego Cavalieri into a save, Ronaldinho's free-kick was extremely ambitious. The league leaders grew into the game but were once again thwarted by the Flu keeper, though this time it was Jo who saw his point-blank header saved by the former Liverpool man. Not to be outdone, however, Victor made an equally excellent stop to deny Wellington Nem's header from finding the back of the net on the stroke of half-time.
The game became very stretched after the break and almost immediately Fred saw his shot well saved by Victor, before Danilinho blazed over from the edge of the six-yard box at the other end. The match soon returned to a more normal tempo as neither side wanted to hand the other the win. Ronaldinho continued to pepper the home team's goal with shots but Cavalieri never looked truly threatened. In the final moments Fred thought he had won it for Flu as he rounded Victor and tapped in only to see his goal ruled out by a highly-controversial offside decision.
The home players remonstrated with the officials after full-time but the damage was done; they still remain six points adrift of Atletico Mineiro in third place.
|Cruzeiro 2-1 Palmeiras
Cruzeiro recovered from defeat in midweek to overcome Palmeiras 2-1 at the Independencia.
The Raposa dominated from the kick off but it took until the 24th minute for them to really trouble Bruno Cortez in the opposition goal. Walter Montillo received Charles' pass on the left of the box and cut in on to his right foot before slamming a shot towards the near post, only for the keeper to get down well and palm it behind. Ceara then rattled the bar for the hosts from a free-kick, but in the 37th minute Joao Vitor felled Montillo in the box and the referee awarded a penalty. Borges took on the responsibility of the spot-kick and he duly converted, despite Bruno guessing the right way.
The hosts doubled their lead 11 minutes into the second half as Tinga's wayward shot fell to Wallyson and the 23-year-old squared the ball to offer Borges an easy finish for his second. Three minutes later Wallyson could have added a third as he latched on to a long ball, but Bruno managed to get a hand to the shot and bat it away from goal. But Palmeiras were offered a route back into the match in the 69th minute when Mauricio Victorino fouled Maikon Leite in the area. Towering striker Hernan Barcos dispatched the penalty, sending Fabio the wrong way. They failed to wrest control of the game from Cruzeiro but in stoppage time it looked as though they had tied the game when Artur headed in, only to see it chalked off for a far less debatable offside judgement than we saw at the Engenhao.
Cruzeiro rise to fifth in the table with the three points while Luiz Felipe Scolari's men remain in the relegation zone with just one win in their last six outings.
|Best of the Rest
Diego Forlan failed to inspire Internacional to a win on his debut as they drew 0-0 with Vasco da Gama. Sport Recife versus Atletico Goianiense as well as Bahia versus Corinthians also ended goalless. Clarence Seedorf got his first win as a Botafogo player with a 1-0 victory at home to Figueirense and Portuguesa downed Nautico 3-1.
|Player of the Round
He may not have had the most positive of starts to this season with Sao Paulo, but Luis Fabiano showed just how valuable he is to the Tricolor with an imperious display in the 4-1 win over Flamengo. Fabiano always looked dangerous as he lurked in the area, ready to pounce on any chance that came his way and could well have finished the match with more than two goals. A great assist for Jadson capped not only the win, but an excellent individual display. Given his temperament, however, he should do more to avoid cheap bookings for overzealous celebrating.