RIO DE JANEIRO - Fluminense overran a
second string Internacional side 3-0 on Sunday to open up a
four-point lead over Corinthians at the top of the Brazilian
Palmeiras coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, whose side beat
Atletico Paranaense 2-0 on Saturday to end a run of six matches
without victory, could be suspended for up to six games after
being escorted off for excessive criticism of the referee.
Fluminense took advantage of Inter's decision to field only
two first-choice players, goalkeeper Renan and midfielder
Tinga, ahead of Wednesday's second leg of the Libertadores Cup
final at home to Guadalajara of Mexico.
Inspired by their diminutive Argentine playmaker Dario
Conca, Fluminense were dominant from the start and went two up
in the opening 23 minutes.
Right-back Mariano's left-footed shot in the 20th minute
was deflected past Renan and three minutes later Conca's
near-post corner was headed home by striker Washington for the
The third goal came on the hour when striker Emerson ran
onto a clinical ball from Conca to steer it home.
Inter lost Tinga to injury after 35 minutes and had striker
Rafael Sobis sent off two minutes from time for a violent foul
on defender Leandro Euzebio.
Flu, whose solitary Brazilian championship title dates back
to 1984, have 32 points to 28 for Corinthians, who lost 3-2 at
Avai are on 22 and Botafogo, who beat lowly Atletico
Goianiense 2-0 on Saturday, completing the top four a point
Before kick-off, Flu's newly-signed midfielder Deco was
greeted with rapturous applause by a crowd of nearly 60,000 at
The former Porto, Barcelona and Chelsea player will make
his debut next weekend's in the derby with Vasco da Gama at
Rio's giant stadium.
"This is all fantastic. I've never experienced anything
like it before and I hope to repay this affection with titles,"
the 32-year-old, back in the country of his birth after 13
years in Europe, told reporters.
The demonstrative Scolari, who was Deco's coach with
Portugal and Chelsea, has found it hard to contain his his
feelings due to his team's lowly position and the fear of
He was sent to the stands in the 69th minute after
repeatedly complaining to the referee but he stopped behind one
of the goals for several more minutes, shouting instructions to
his players and had to be removed by the fourth official.
Palmeiras are now just two points behind fourth-placed
Botafogo, Cruzeiro and Ceara and five clear of the drop-zone.
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