RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazil striker Adriano
scored a hat-trick to give national champions Flamengo a 5-3
win over Fluminense in a spectacular Carioca (Rio de Janeiro)
championship derby on Sunday.
After trailing 3-1 at half-time and having defender Alvaro
sent off in the 63rd minute, Flamengo enjoyed an inspired
performance at the Maracana from their two strikers Adriano and
"We play for each other, we're both top level players and
we're chasing the same objective, to get to the World Cup,"
Adriano said as both strikers talked to reporters.
Fluminense scored twice in the opening half hour through
Andre and Argentine midfielder Dario Conca and could have had
more goals as they were in complete control but were without
injured striker Fred.
Adriano pulled one back with a penalty after Juan was
brought down but defender Cassio restored Fluminense's two-goal
advantage following a goalmouth melee from a corner.
Flamengo were a changed team in the second half and had
equalised by the 54th minute with goals by Vagner Love and
Adriano, top scorer in the 2009 Brazilian championship, won
the match for Flamengo when they were a man short. He tapped in
from a cross by Vinicius Pacheco eight minutes from time and
completed his hat-trick with a stoppage-time breakaway.
Corinthians, a man short from the ninth minute when Roberto
Carlos was sent off, withstood strong pressure from Palmeiras
to beat them 1-0 in their Paulista (Sao Paulo) championship
Already without Ronaldo, who is nursing a thigh muscle
injury, Corinthians lost their other World Cup winner when the
former Real Madrid left back was shown a straight red for a bad
tackle from behind on Joao Arthur.
"For me, it was harsh, but what can I do?" Roberto Carlos
told reporters as he left the field. "What a referee mustn't do
is spoil a 'classico' like that."
Corinthians went ahead two minutes before the sending off
with a headed goal from Jorge Henrique and had goalkeeper
Felipe to thank for a string of saves as they beat biggest
rivals Palmeiras for the first time in three years.
Two minutes from time, Palmeiras midfielder Cleiton Xavier
was sent off for dissent, his second bookable offence.
Paulista title holders Corinthians snatched the lead in the
standing from Santos, who beat Oeste 2-0 on Saturday after a
pre-match visit from Robinho who has returned to his first club
on a six-month loan from Manchester City.
Internacional beat Gremio 1-0 in Porto Alegre in their big
derby in the Gaucho (Rio Grande do Sul) championship.
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