Friday, 1 April 2011

Rogério Reaches Century in Clássico; Cruzeiro Through to Last 16 of Libertadores

A short pause in domestic action while international games take place? Not in Brazil, partner. A full schedule of state championship, Copa do Brasil, and Taça Libertadores games was lit up by Rogério Ceni, the São Paulo goalkeeper who netted his 100th career goal against Corinthians. And no, that's not a typo. Elsewhere, Cruzeiro guaranteed their place in the knockout stages of the Libertadores, where they look likely to be joined by Internacional.

Campeonato Paulista Round-up
Oh, Rogério! You mythical goleiro artilheiro, you! You disrespecter of received wisdom! You one-man embodiment of everything that is great about football in your homeland! Yes, reader, Sunday was a magical day in Brazil; 38-year-old goalkeeper Rogério Ceni bent home a trademark free-kick to complete a century of goals for São Paulo. That the goal gave the Tricolor a victory over bitter rivals Corinthians made the moment all the more sweet.

Centurion; Rogério roars with joy at his 100th goal.

Rather than continuing to wax lyrical about RC01 here, I refer readers to a previous article of mine, where I weighed up the impact of the veteran at the Morumbi. Suffice it to say that Sunday's effort, which came sandwiched between nice goals from Dagoberto (for São Paulo) and Dentinho (for the Timão), prompted an outpouring of goodwill, both from São Paulinos the world over and from the Brazilian public more generally; the consensus was that Rogério, a true gentleman of the game, fully deserved his moment in the spotlight.

A Neymar-less Santos, meanwhile, scraping a tight 3-2 win over Ituano at the newly-reopened Novelli Júnior stadium. Rightback Jonathan opened his account for the Peixe, and there was also a goal for the much-maligned striker Keirrison. Palmeiras were also victorious, overcoming Bragantino with some ease; centreback Thiago Heleno bagged a brace for the Verdão in that one.

Off the field, both Adriano and Luís Fabiano were unveiled this week by their new clubs. Over 40,000 São Paulo fans packed into the Morumbi to welcome the former, although the presence of Rogério probably boosted attendance somewhat. The former Sevilla marksman was greeted as a returning hero by the club's fans, who hope that his goals will fire an impressive squad to glory this term. Adriano, on the other hand, was presented with relatively little fanfare; no fans were invited to the Corinthians training centre for the announcement. O Imperador admitted that his arrival at the Pacaembu was motivated by a desire to return to the Brazil side, and cited the "huge willpower" at his disposal. It seems unlikely, however, that many football fans would share this generous psychological appraisal.

Campeonato Carioca Round-up
Tiny Boavista repeated their giant-taming antics this week, holding Botafogo to a 0-0 draw at their modest Cláudio Moacyr ground. Fluminense and Vasco also failed to produce any notable goalmouth action, sleepwalking to a goalless draw in Sunday's clássico. Thankfully, Flamengo took it upon themselves to liven things up, battling to a 3-3 draw with Madureira. A stunning own goal from Welinton put Fla in trouble early on, and they needed late goals from Deivid goal and Thiago Neves to rescue a point.

Copa Libertadores Round-up
A comfortable 2-0 win over Guaraní in Paraguay was enough to guarantee Cruzeiro their place in the last 16. The Raposa, who remain unbeaten in this year's competition, took the lead when Thiago Ribeiro coolly slotted home, before José Ortigoza's late strike sealed the points. Internacional produced another impeccable continental performance, strolling to victory over the marvellously-monickered Bolivian side Jorge Wilstermann. Young midfielder Oscar was the star of the show at the Beira-Rio, opening the scoring and providing a threat througout. Experienced Libertadores campaigner Andrés D'Alessandro also found the net.

Cruzeiro forward Thiago Ribeiro celebrates his goal against Guaraní.

Copa do Brasil Round-up
São Paulo must make up a deficit in the second leg of their tie with Santa Cruz, after slumping to an unexpected 1-0 defeat on Wednesday. Vasco and Botafogo must also negotiate tricky return matches; the former drew with the acronym-tastic ABC-RN, whilst the latter picked up a narrow win over Paraná in Caio Júnior's first game in charge. A number of teams did, however, manage to book their places in the last 16; Goiás, Coritiba, Avaí, Ceará, and Horizonte-CE all did enough to progress.

Best of the Rest
Cruzeiro opened up some breathing space at the summit of the Campeonato Mineiro with a 3-2 win over América-MG. Once more it was Walter Montillo who made the difference for Cuca's men; the Argentine nicked a late winner at the Melão. In the Gauchão, Grêmio beat Pelotas 3-1, but Inter could only manage a draw with São Luiz.

Selected results. Paulista; São Paulo 2-1 Corinthians, Ituano 2-3 Santos, Palmeiras 3-0 Bragantino. Carioca; Fluminense 0-0 Vasco, Boavista 0-0 Botafogo, Flamengo 3-3 Madureira. Libertadores; Internacional 3-0 Jorge Wilstermann, Guaraní 0-2 Cruzeiro.

(Photo credits; (1) Tom Dib, (2) Andrés Cristaldo.)


  1. Oi cara, tudo bem?
    Eu sou o Riva'Bianconer8 do TT. Vou seguir seu blog, passa tambem no meu, falo muito do futebol Brasileiro tambem.