RIO DE JANEIRO - Robinho's Santos moved
a step closer to the Paulista (Sao Paulo state) championship
with a 3-2 away win over Santo Andre in the first leg of the
final on Sunday.
Gremio also took the upper hand in the Gaucho (Rio Grande
do Sul) with a 2-0 win over arch-rivals Internacional as
Brazil's state championships reach their conclusions.
Atletico Mineiro beat Ipatinga 3-2 in the first leg of the
Mineiro (Minas Gerais) championship, while Botafogo won the
Carioca (Rio) last weekend beating Brazilian champions
The Brazilian season starts with 27 state championships
before the national championship kicks off on May 8.
Santos recovered from a 1-0 half time deficit after Bruno
Cesar put Santo Andre ahead with a free-kick. Andre Felipe
equalised and Wesley scored twice in eight minutes before
Rodriguinho pulled one back for Santo Andre.
At the Beira-Rio stadium in Porto Alegre in the southern
state of Rio Grande do Sul, goals from defender Rodrigo and
striker Borges broke the resistance of Inter's former Argentina
goalkeeper Roberto Abbondanzieri in the final 23 minutes.
Before next weekend's second leg, the two teams turn their
attention to other competitions.
Inter meet Argentina's Banfield in the first leg of their
Libertadores Cup first knockout round tie while Gremio face
Fluminense in the Copa Brasil quarter-finals in midweek.
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