Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Grêmio Comeback Stuns Botafogo; Flamengo Draw Another Blank in Maracanã Send-off

Another day of limited internet access, folks, but this should be the last of these rushed updates. I fly back to rainy old England on Wednesday, and you can expect a return to the kind of detail SKP aspires to! For now, though, let me fire through the latest round of the Brasileirão, which proved quite the goalfest.

Gameweek 19 Round-up
An exciting game at the Engenhão saw Botafogo surrender a two goal lead to draw to improving Grêmio. The build-up to the match was dominated by the friendly rivalry between coaches Joel Santana and Renato Gaúcho (both of whom were declared the footballing 'King of Rio' during their playing days), and the game provided similarly enjoyable fare. Botafogo, despite being without their form striker Jóbson, raced ahead, thanks to Antônio Carlos' header and a calm finish from Herrera. O Glorioso, however, were pegged back in the second period; Jonas took advantage of some abject defending from Leandro Guerreiro to slot home, before heading home a late second to rescue a point for Grêmio. Vasco travelled to Fortaleza to face Ceará, the former club of coach PC Gusmão, and came away with maximum points following a 2-0 win. Zé Roberto put the Rio side ahead after good work from Carlos Alberto and Éder Luís, and Felipe Bastos netted a late second.

Grêmio forward Jonas (centre) kick-starts his side's recovery against Botafogo.

Corinthians rounded off their centenary celebrations with a commanding 5-1 win over Goiás at the Pacaembu. Júnior put the Esmeraldino ahead on six minutes with a sumptuous solo effort, but Corinthians reacted in fine style; Bruno César heading home to finish of a deadly break. The no.10 then turned provider for Iarley to steer home a second, and Jorge Henrique got in on the act shortly after. Iarley added his second from the penalty spot, before Marcão's own goal completed the rout. The Timão are now just a single point behind Fluminense, who went down 2-1 to Guarani at the Brinco de Ouro. Emerson put the Tricolor ahead early on, but the home side battled to an unlikely victory, thanks to free-kicks from Baiano and Fabão.

Flamengo bid (a temporary) farewell to the Maracanã with yet another sleepy performance, drawing 0-0 with Santos. Coach Silas will hope that a change of scenery will somehow spur his side into life. Things were only marginally more exciting at the Ressacada, where Avaí hosted Atlético Paranaense. The deadline was only broken in the 94th minute, when Maikon Leite drilled home to snatch all three points for the visitors. Internacional were also victorious on Sunday, beating Grêmio Prudente 2-0 in Porto Alegre. Left-back Kléber produced two trademark crosses for the Colorado, allowing Rafael Sobis and Leandro Damião to steer home a header apiece.

In-form Cruzeiro produced a stunning second half display to overcome Palmeiras 3-2 away from home. Ther Verdão looked to be in control, leading 2-0 thanks to a Kléber penalty and Maurício Ramos' near post header. Cruzeiro coach Cuca must have had strong words at half time, however, as his charges roared back into contention; Roger's deflected effort made it 2-1, before Walter Montillo fired home the equaliser. With just five minutes left, Thiago Ribeiro escaped down the right, and crossed for Ernesto Farías to tap home the winner, completing an amazing comeback.

Atlético Goianiense continued their quest to pull away from the relegation zone, trouncing Vitória 4-1 at the Serra Dourada. Playmaker Elias coolly put the Dragão ahead in the first half, before releasing Juninho to double the advantage. Elkeson reduced the arrears with a fine free-kick, but the comeback would be short-lived. Elias smashed home from the spot (his seventh goal in four games), before Juninho rounded off a fine display with a scuffed finish. There were five goals too at the Ipatingão, where São Paulo beat Atlético-MG 3-2. Casemiro put the Tricolor ahead from close range following a corner, but Atlético reacted well, taking the lead with two Obina penalties. In an exciting second period, however, it was São Paulo who did enough to gain the three points, thanks to Marcelinho and Fernandão.

(Photo credit; Alexandre Loureiro.)

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