Friday, 23 September 2011

Botafogo Close Gap With Win Over Grêmio; São Paulo and Corinthians Play Out Goalless Draw

It was a rare low-scoring round in the Campeonato Brasileiro; the ten midweek games produced only 19 goals. With Vasco, São Paulo and Corinthians all drawing, Botafogo edged closer to the leadership with a fortuitous win over Grêmio. Further down the table, losses for Cruzeiro and Ceará saw them edge ever closer to the relegation zone.

Brasileirão Gameweek 25 Round-up
Football, as we all know, can be a cruel mistress. Grêmio were reminded of this the hard way on Thursday evening; the Tricolor battered Botafogo at the Olímpico, only to come away empty-handed. The hosts racked up an incredible 22 efforts on goal, but were made to pay for their profligacy when 'Loco' Abreu slid home the winner after the interval. That result takes Caio Júnior's side to within two points of leaders Vasco, who could only manage a 1-1 draw at home to Atlético Goianiense. São Paulo and Corinthians, the two remaining members of the top four, played out a goalless draw at the Morumbi.

Matador; Fred celebrates his second goal against Avaí.

Ronaldinho Gaúcho was back among the goals on Wednesday, cancelling out Daniel Carvalho's gorgeous free-kick to rescue a point for Flamengo against Atlético-MG. That result, however, leaves the Rubro-Negro's title challenge hanging by a thread; Vanderlei Luxemburgo's charges have now gone ten games without a win. Bitter rivals Fluminense are having a much better time of it; a brace from Fred sent them on the way to a comfortable win over Avaí in Rio. That game also saw the return of Deco, whose decision to forgo his wages during his last spell in the treatment room appears to have prompted new-found patience among some sections of the Tricolor faithful.

In Uberlândia (aside: Über Land sounds like some kind of post-fascist theme park), Borges continued his ridiculous "YEAH I SCORE IN EVERY MATCH, SO BLOODY WHAT?" routine, as Santos picked up a 2-1 win over the hapless América Mineiro. If the Peixe continue in this vein (and win their games in hand), they could yet have a say in the destination of the Série A title. Cruzeiro, though, who were tipped by many as contenders before the start of the campaign, will not be in the running; this week's defeat to Coritiba leaves them just four points above the drop zone. (Goalkeeper Fábio, incidentally, must be keeping a close eye on the Rubgy World Cup; he's now taken to donning scrum cap to complement his trademark gumshield.)

Relief for Palmeiras; striker Luan commemorates his side's goal against Ceará.

Palmeiras earnt some respite from their recent poor form, sneaking a 1-0 win over Ceará at the Canindé. That result leaves the Fortaleza side perilously close to the relegation zone, heading into the last third of the season. Atlético-PR can already hear the chilling call of Série B; they remain ensconced in the mire after succumbing to Bahia. Finally, in Inconsequential Midtable News ©, Internacional held Figueirense to a 1-1 draw.

Série A results; Fluminense 3-1 Avaí, Coritiba 2-1 Cruzeiro, América-MG 1-2 Santos, Bahia 1-0 Atlético-PR, São Paulo 0-0 Corinthians, Figueirense 1-1 Internacional, Atlético-MG 1-1 Flamengo, Palmeiras 1-0 Ceará, Vasco 1-1 Atlético-GO, Grêmio 0-1 Botafogo.

(Photo credits; (1) & (2) Lancenet.)

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