The 28-year-old striker netted his third and fourth goals in his last two games as Dorival Junior's reign at the Rubro-Negro continues to show signs of improvement
Brasileiro: Round 16 Results
|Flamengo 2-0 Nautico
The Timbu had been inconsistent so far this season, but it looked as though it was going to be one of their better evenings on the evidence of the opening stages. Kieza had two great chances to give his side the lead, but hesitation and a good save from Felipe scuppered his chances of breaking the deadlock. That duty, however, was taken up by Vagner Love. The former CSKA Moscow striker rolled his man in the area before sending a cross-goal shot into the far corner after 15 minutes.
Gideao stopped it from being two as he got a strong hand to deny Renato Abreu a goal from his glancing header but the visitors were unable to hold on until half time. With one minute until the break Vagner Love caught Ronaldo Alves in possession and although his initial effort came back of the post, he recovered the ball and maintained composure to slot it home at the second time of asking. Kieza had no more luck in his attempts to find the net for Nautico as he completely missed the ball when a simple tap in was on offer after the restart while Kim blazed over the bar after a Wellinton slip.
Despite a brief lull in form in recent weeks, Flamengo remain in ninth position, but they have one game in hand. Nautico, meanwhile, sit in 13th position, just four points above of the drop zone.
|Sao Paulo 1-2 Gremio
Gremio came from behind to defeat Sao Paulo 2-1 at the Morumbi with a stoppage-time winner.
In what was an evenly contested first half, and Elano and Jadson were presented with the best opportunities to put their respective sides ahead. The former Manchester City man saw his low effort saved by Rogerio Ceni and Jadson fared no better for Sao Paulo shortly after as he failed to find the corner of Marcelo Grohe's goal. He did manage to supply the ball for the opening goal, though, threading a pass up to Cicero who found the back of the net despite a looping deflection off of the keeper.
Marcelo Grohe made two impressive saves from Maicon before the half was out and they proved to be absolutely pivotal in Gremio taking all the points. In the 67th minute Werley met Marquinhos' corner at the near post to bring the Imortal Tricolor back on terms and the turnaround was then completed in the 92nd minute. After Kleber had rattled the post earlier in the second period, when the next chance to score arose he instead squared the ball with a cushioned header to Andre Lima who slid in the winning goal.
The win ensures that Gremio keep pace with the teams at the top from fourth position, but Ney Franco's men fall one position to seventh.
|Atletico Mineiro 1-0 Vasco da Gama
When the top two teams at the start of the round met it was Atletico Mineiro who widened the gap at the summit with a 1-0 win over Vasco da Gama.
The atmosphere at the Independencia was fantastic for what was possibly the biggest game of the season so far. Being able to play their games in Belo Horizonte once more is no doubt having a positive effect on Galo and they should well have gone ahead after 17 minutes. On the counterattack, Bernard slipped the ball into the path of Jo but he sliced his effort high and wide of the goal. Both sides then had claims for penalties turned down by the referee and Atletico had a goal ruled out as Jo put a rebound from an excellent Fernando Prass save into the back of the net.
The second half lacked the same excitement level as the teams became more reserved, unwilling to be the first to concede and surrender valuable points. Bernard slammed a great chance for the hosts into the side netting, but in the 70th minute the first goal finally arrived. Ronaldinho drove to the byeline, throwing in an impressive step-over to boot, and his cross was not gathered by Fernando Prass. Jo rose to meet the ball unchallenged and he headed the ball into the corner to secure the game for Galo.
Atletico Mineiro, who hold a game in hand, are now three points clear at the top of the table, ahead of Fluminense who rose above Vasco into second.
|Fluminense 1-0 Palmeiras
Fluminense earned a late 1-0 win over Palmeiras at the Engenhao to maintain their title challenge.
In-form striker Hernan Barcos almost put Luiz Felipe Scolari's side ahead with just four minutes on the clock, but the Argentine's header from an exquisite pass by Henrqiue was saved by Diego Cavalieri. The keeper then saved two shots from Marcos Assuncao with relative comfort before Rafael Sobis tested Bruno for the first time on the night with a free kick from the left. In the final chance before the break Cavalieri got just enough on Artur's shot to divert it onto the post.
The Verdao continued to pose a positive threat going forward, but could not find a way past the former Liverpool man between the sticks. Fluminense responded well in the latter stages of the game but both Wallace and Samuel were unable to find the night's first goal. However, stunned the Paulista side in the 86th minute when Jean fired a volley past Bruno.
Fluzao therefore leapfrog Vasco and rise to second position while Palmeiras can count themselves unlucky to remain in 17th place.
|Best of the Rest
Santos came from behind to draw 2-2 with Atletico Goianiense but the Dragao returned to the bottom of the league as Figueirense downed Sport Recife 1-0. Cruzeiro defeated Bahia courtesy of a single Walter Montillo strike and Internacional won at home to Ponte Preta 2-1 with a stoppage-time winner. Corinthians beat Coritiba 2-1 at the Couto Pereira and Portuguesa drew 1-1 with Botafogo.
|Player of the Round
Had it not been for his numerous top-drawer saves there would have been no way that Gremio could have left the Morumbi with all three points. Marcelo Grohe put in a fantastic display and proved an immovable object in between the posts as he continually frustrated Sao Paulo. He beat away wave-upon-wave of shots from the hosts and it provided a solid base for his side to launch a late attack for the win.