RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazil striker Adriano
scored a hat-trick as Flamengo crushed Internacional 4-0 while
Corinthians beat Sao Paulo 3-1 in their Brazilian championship
derby on Sunday.
Unbeaten Atletico Mineiro opened a three-point lead at the
top with 17 points from seven matches after a controversial
finish to their 3-2 win at Santos.
Adriano, who left Inter Milan in April because he was
unhappy in Italy and appeared to have lost his desire for
football, opened the scoring the 13th minute when he lobbed
keeper Lauro from the edge of the box.
Emerson increased Flamengo's lead in the 36th minute and
Adriano, left out of Brazil's Confederations Cup squad due to
his recent lack of regular football and form, scored with a
left-footed free kick before halftime.
Adriano, who took his tally to four goals in four games,
completed a hat-trick with a 68th-minute penalty after defender
Leonardo Moura was brought down and despite demands from team
mates Ibson and Juan that one of them should take the spot
Flamengo coach Cuca will have been relieved to see his team
win at home after 4-2 and 5-0 away defeats in their previous
two matches had fans calling for his head.
No such luck for title holders and three-time champions Sao
Paulo, who have had a week to forget, having been knocked out
of the Libertadores Cup on Thursday by fellow Brazilians
Cruzeiro and sacked coach Muricy Ramalho on Friday.
Midfielder Cristian, captain Chico and substitute Juciclei
scored for Corinthians, while Ronaldo had a quiet game.
Richarlyson scored for Sao Paulo, who will officially
unveil former Brazil captain and Monaco coach Ricardo Gomes as
their new trainer on Tuesday and are 16th after one win in
At Santos, referee Djalma Beltrame announced four minutes'
stoppage time then whistled for the end of the match after only
Pressured by the home team's players, he restarted the
match to play the remaining two minutes.
Molina then scored what appeared to be a valid equaliser
only for the referee to whistle for a dubious foul on another
player and send off left back Leo for protesting.
"He (the referee) got scared of complications having made a
mistake by ending the game early. So, when he saw the ball go
in, he invented a foul. It's absurd," Leo told reporters.
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