Brasileiro: Flamengo and Atletico-MG Want it!
Up until last week, the Brasileirao seemed the tournament no one wanted to win. The favorites kept losing points with pale football. But the 30th round shows signs of change by two sides. Flamengo and Atletico-MG want to take the title home after a long time.
While Palmeiras, Sao Paulo, Inter and Goias gave another display of loss of steam, the two sides pocketed the three points in very important matches.
Flamengo visited Palmeiras at Parque Antartica – one of those matches to be pictured as a final. The clash was between the leader and the best team of the moment in the league, and Diego Souza and Adriano were back from the national team. The man of the game, and of the round, was one more time 37 year old Petkovic. The veteran Serbian midfielder controlled the match, and scored twice – one in each-half. In the first goal, Pet pushed the ball to the back of the net with a graceful touch. The second one was an Olympic goal which resulted from a mistake of goalie Marcos. In the end, Vagner Love had the chance to put Palmeiras closer, but he took the penalty like Roberto Baggio. With the 2-0, Palmeiras is still the leader, but Flamengo is just one point away from the Libertadores zone. The club from Rio, which now seats on a 9 unbeaten streak, will be a real contender for the title.
Atletico-MG had also a symbolic victory. The club headed by Celso Roth visited Sao Paulo at Morumbi, another one of those “finals”. Before the first minute, Diego Tardelli, who was returning from the national team, scored his 15th in the league. Not only Tardelli became one of the top scorers, but also he gave the victory to Atletico against his old club. After the goal, Sao Paulo tried to pressure, but midfielder Ricardinho, who was in the group that lifted the 2002 World Cup, controlled the midfield. With the victory, Atletico is in second, 4 points away from Palmeiras. Sao Paulo fell to 4th.
While Palmeiras and Sao Paulo lost to direct rivals, Inter and Goias dropped points in different situations. Inter visited the virtually relegated side of Fluminense and tied in two goals, which feels the same as a defeat. Flu tied in the last minute. True that forward Alecssandro scored and reached 15 goals, which makes him one of the top scorers of the league. But a club that wants to be the champion cannot allow a defender named Gum to score twice. Marquinhos scored the other goal for Inter. With the draw, Inter jumped to third, but failed to be just three points away from Palmeiras. Fluminense remains in last, walking firmly towards second division.
Goias lost again. True, visiting the good side of Avai is no easy task. The problem is how it happened. Goias jumped ahead with a goal by Leandro Euzebio in the first-half. However, in just 10 minutes in the second-half, Goias allowed Avai to comeback. Leo Gago with an accidentally beautiful goal and the good midfielder Marquinhos scored between the 7th and 17th marks.
The top of the table looks like this: Palmeiras 54, Atletico-MG 50, Inter 49, Sao Paulo 49, Flamengo 48, Goias 46.
The tournament no one wants to participate
While clubs on the top are working hard to not lift the trophy, a group of teams seems to be working hard to not participate in next year’s edition of Brasileirao. It seems they want the second division.
Fluminense has its fate decided. The draw against Inter just confirmed that. But Nautico, Santo Andre, Botafogo and even Coritiba seem to fight for a spot in serie B.
Nautico visited Vitoria and started the match with its goalie denying a penalty to the locals. In the second-half, Nautico score through Bruno Mineiro. Victory coming, right? Wrong. Vitoria came back in the final half-hour with two goals by Leandrao. The forward who left the bench also served veteran midfielder Jackson to score the final goal. Nautico remains in the relegation zone.
Santo Andre is also stuck in the relegation zone. This time, the club was thrashed by Atletico-PR 3-0. Paulo Baier, the conductor, from a beautiful free-kick scored the first. Then defender Marcel scored an own goal. And finally, Marcinho gave final numbers to the match.
Two other clubs are dangerously close the relegation zone. And they both lost on the weekend.
Botafogo visited Cruzeiro and created huge difficulties for the home team. But in the second-half, Thiago Ribeiro scored the single goal of the match. With the victory, Cruzeiro still dreams of Libertadores.
Coritiba also played away from home, and the opponent could not be tougher. Gremio is the only side of Brasileiro that remains unbeaten at home. This Sunday, Perea and midfielder Souza scored the goals of the match.
The only side that showed signs of life this weekend was Sport. The club from Recife beat Corinthians at home with goals by Bolivian forward Arce and Wilson, two ex-Corinthians players. The problem is that Sport has had such a poor campaign that it still is the second the last side in the table.
This is how the bottom of Brasileirao looks like: Coritiba 34, Botafogo 32, Santo Andre 29, Nautico 29, Sport 28, Fluminense 26.
For the second week on a row, Santos had a nil draw. This time against Barueri. True that forward Kleber Pereira was ejected, but the side of Vanderley Luxemburgo is the most boring of the league by far.