South American Futbol - Libertadores, Sudamericana, World Cup 2010

Brazil: Botafogo win Rio state championship

Botafogo won the Rio de Janeiro state championship, after beating rivals Flamengo 2-1 at Maracana stadium on Sunday. Botafogo, who had already claimed the Guanabara Cup, won the match with two penalty conversions from forwards German Herrera and Sebastian Abreu, from Argentina and Uruguay, respectively.

Since the Vasco da Gama side of 1998, no team had won both the Guanabara Cup and the Rio Cup in the same year. Botafogo proved to be the best team throughout the competition, thanks to the work of key players like Abreu, who only joined the club in January.

Botafogo came into the clash as the hot favourites, and they went ahead in the 21st minute when Herrera converted a penalty kick.

But Flamengo lifted their game towards the end of the half and Vagner Love drew them level on the stroke of half-time when he slotted the ball home from close-range after confusion in the Botafogo area.

However, Abreu put Botafogo back into the lead when he scored from the penalty spot. His tricky chip went in off the crossbar, in reminiscence of Zinedine Zidanes’s penalty kick in the final of the 2006 World Cup.

Adriano had the opportunity to draw Flamengo level when they were awarded a penalty of their own three minutes later, but his effort was saved by Botafogo goalkeeper Jefferson.

Santos cruise past Sao Paulo

Santos reached the final of the Sao Paulo state championship after thrashing Sao Paulo 3-0 at the Vila Belmiro stadium. The Peixe had already won the first leg of the semi-final 3-2 last week.

Attacker Neymar opened the scoring for Santos with a close-range effort in the 59th minute and the 18-year-old converted his second goal from the penalty spot in the 83rd minute.

Midfielder Paulo Henrique Ganso added Santos’ third goal three minutes from full-time, to seal a comprehensive victory.

Santos will meet Santo Andre in the final of the competition, and will be looking for their first title triumph since 2007.



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