South American Futbol - Libertadores, Sudamericana, World Cup 2010

Ronaldo gives Corinthians their first victory in Brazil

Late penalty kick by Ronaldo handed Corinthians the win

In the first round of the Campeonato Brasileiro on Sunday at the Pacaembu stadium in Sao Paulo, Corinthians defeated Atletico Paranaense 2-1 thanks to a late goal from former World Player of the Year Ronaldo. Atletico Paranaense’s team played the last 20 minutes with just nine players, but Corinthians rallied back to defeat them after falling behind by one goal.

Corinthians, who were hoping to start their 2010 Campeonato Brasileiro season on a winning note after being ousted from the Copa Libertadores by Flamengo last week, were dealt a blow when Wagner Diniz gave the visitors the lead just before halftime.

After the half, Corinthians recovered, and Souza tied the score with a well placed curling shot in the 59th minute. This came about as a result of some excellent passing between many Corinthians players along the left side.

In the 83rd minute, Corinthians was given a penalty kick for continuing to press forward. When given the opportunity to score, Ronaldo stepped up and executed a flawless finish. Even if he has scored twice in his past two games, Ronaldo is unlikely to persuade Brazil coach Dunga to add him to his 23-man World Cup squad.

Corinthians are anticipated to be contenders for the Brazilian title this year, despite their early withdrawal from the Copa Libertadores tournament.

Sao Paulo held Flamengo, the defending champions, to a 1-1 draw at Maracana stadium. Despite the fact that both sides had inferior squads in order to focus on their forthcoming Copa Libertadores quarterfinal matches, the matchup was nevertheless hotly contested.

Just before halftime, Sao Paulo took the lead thanks to a goal from Washington, but Denis Marques gave Flamengo a point with a goal in the 50th minute.

Kleber scored twice to help Cruzeiro defeat Internacional 2-1 in the Beira-Rio stadium. With a cunning penalty kick, Kleber scored his first goal in the fourth minute. His second goal, which followed a brilliant through play, was scored in the 35th minute. Taison’s close-range header in the sixth minute gave Inter its lone goal.

Ahead of their midweek Copa Libertadores games, both teams also started primarily inferior lineups.

Santos, the most entertaining team in Brazil, and Botafogo played to a thrilling 3-3 draw on Saturday in Rio de Janeiro. Even though Santos went up twice thanks to goals from teenage scoring phenom Neymar, a late goal from Argentine attacker German Herrera gave Botafogo a draw.

In the other games on Saturday, Palmeiras defeated Vitoria 1-0 while Atletico GO and Gremio drew 0-0.

The greatest outcome of the round was Avai’s 6-1 victory over Gremio Prudente, who had just been promoted. Emerson scored an outstanding hat-trick to lead the Florianopolis-based team to a resounding victory.

In other games, Guarani defeated Goias 1-0, Ceara edged Fluminense 1-0, and Atletico Mineiro defeated Vasco da Gama 2-1.



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