Thursday, 9 June 2011

Vasco Crowned Copa do Brasil Champions; São Paulo Maintain 100% League Record

Vasco da Gama won the Brazilian cup for the first time in their 113 year history last night, overcoming Coritiba on away goals. There was also a Campeonato Brasileiro match taking place, with unbeaten pair Atlético Mineiro and São Paulo meeting in Sete Lagoas...

É campeão! Diego Souza and Alecsandro celebrate.

Coritiba 3-2 Vasco da Gama
Finally, the perennial bridesmaids of Brazilian football have a Copa do Brasil title of their own. Vasco were forced to do things the hard way, however, against Marcelo Oliveira's brave Coritiba outfit. The Rio giants travelled to Paraná with the slenderest of leads, having won the first leg 1-0 at the São Januário. That clean sheet on home soil would turn out to be critical.

Both sides came flying out of the blocks; Éder Luís had an early effort deflected into the side netting, whilst Jonas came close with a free-kick for the Coxa. The opening goal duly arrived in the 11th minute; Éder Luís ran onto Diego Souza's fine pass, before squaring for Alecsandro to finish. The Couto Pereira, usually so vibrant, was momentarily silenced. The home side fought back, however, managing two quick goals before the interval; Bill nodded home from close range, and Davi smashed home the second.

Vasco players celebrate Éder Luís' strike in trademark style.

The hosts, then, needed just one more after the break, and continued to press forward. What came next was a knockout blow. There seemed to be little danger as Éder Luís dribbled forward, with plenty of Coritiba defenders between him and the goal. His hopeful shot, however, was horribly misjudged by Édson Bastos, who allowed the ball to bounce over his flailing left leg. Vasco's players indulged in their trem bala da colina (bullet train) celebration, forming a conga line of delirium. Coritiba pulled one back through Willian's fabulous volley, but the spoils went to Ricardo Gomes' men. Parabéns, Vasco, campeão inédito!

Atlético Mineiro 0-1 São Paulo
Despite being on the back foot for much of the match, São Paulo snatched all three points from their trip to Minas Gerais. With Rogério Ceni on vintage form for the Tricolor, Atlético's dominance of possession failed to translate onto the scoreboard, despite the Galo racking up nearly 20 attempts on goal. Brazil U20 midfielder Casemiro netted the winner, curling home from just outside the area. The victory - their third in three games - takes São Paulo to the summit of Série A.

Results. Copa do Brasil; Coritiba 3-2 Vasco (3-3 on aggregate, Vasco win on away goals). Série A; Atlético-MG 0-1 São Paulo.

(Photo credits; (1) & (2) Cleber Mendes.)

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