There were two Brasileirão games on Wednesday night, as Vasco, Corinthians, Santos, and Internacional finally played their games in hand. In continental competition, three out of four of the Série A's representatives in the Copa Sul-Americana won their last-sixteen first-legs.
Campeonato Brasileiro Round-up
Corinthians, who so recently appeared to be running away with the Série A title, now face a real battle to get back into contention, after Vasco condemned them to a third straight loss. A weakened Timão were without five of their most important players; none of Ronaldo, Jorge Henrique, Dentinho, Ralf, or Bruno César were fit enough to start at the São Januário. Vasco, on the other hand, look rejuvinated of late, and recorded a 2-0 win thanks to strike pairing Zé Roberto and Éder Luís. The former put the Gigante da Colina into a tenth minute lead, emphatically smashing home from Felipe's tempting cross. Corinthians ought to have equalised immediately, but Iarley contrived to slice wide from two yards out. Instead it was Vasco who put the game to bed; Felipe picked out Éder Luís with a clever ball, and the man on loan from Benfica coolly beat Júlio César in the visitors' goal.
At the Vila Belmiro, a 1-0 win for Santos allowed them to leapfrog opponents Internacional into fourth place. Neymar, lively throughout, bagged the winning goal; tucking home a low finish after a lightening-fast Peixe attack. The seasiders have a comparatively easy Série A run-in, and will now fancy their chances to push the likes of Cruzeiro and Fluminense all the way to the wire.
Copa Sul-Americana Round-up
A brace from Obina handed Atlético Mineiro a useful two-goal advantage over Santa Fé, ahead of the second leg in Bolivia. The striker ran onto Diego Souza's through ball to slot home the opener, before tapping home from close range in the second half. The Galo are finally showing some promising form, and Dorival Júnior's reputation looks set to grow. Palmeiras also overcame Bolivian opposition, beating Universitario de Sucre at the Pátria stadium. Marcos Assunção grabbed the game's only goal with a trademark free-kick.
Avaí played their first official game outside of Brazil, and were unlucky not to nick a point against Ecuadorian giants Emelec. Eltinho's own goal put the home side ahead, but the Leão da Ilha rallied with Marcelinho's smart finish. There would be late heartbreak for the Florianópolis side, however; Rojas' 47th minute strike for Emelec means Avaí have it all to do in the second leg. Goiás, another side hardly setting the Brasileirão alight, battled to a tight 1-0 victory over Uruguayan side Peñarol at the Serra Dourada. Rafael Moura's close range finish was enough to put the Esmeraldino in the driving seat.
Série A results; Vasco 2-0 Corinthians, Santos 1-0 Internacional.
Copa Sul-Americana results; Emelec 2-1 Avaí, Sucre 0-1 Palmeiras, Goiás 1-0 Peñarol, Atlético-MG 2-0 Santa Fé.
(Photo credit; Ivan Storti.)