RIO DE JANEIRO - Fluminense and
Corinthians went down to surprise defeats on Saturday ahead of
their Brazilian championship top-of-the-table clash in Rio de
Janeiro next week.
Leaders Fluminense lost 2-1 away to 10-man Atletico
Goianiense but are still three points ahead of Corinthians, who
suffered their first home defeat of the season, 1-0 to Gremio.
In a match they had been expected to win against a team in
the relegation zone, Flu went ahead after 23 minutes when
Washington finished a move involving playmakers Deco and
Argentine Dario Conca.
Seven minutes later, however, William shook off his marker
to equalise and Flu went on to hit the bar twice before
Things looked to become easier for Flu when the home side's
defender Gilson was sent off for a foul on Carlinhos, his
second booking, but substitute Juninho scrambled in a winner in
"We should have won today's game. We knew Corinthians were
losing and the chance was very big to open a bigger distance
from them," disappointed Flu coach Muricy Ramalho told
"Now we must prepare the team for Wednesday. It's a match
against a direct rival for the title and we must win it
whichever way possible."
Corinthians, resting 2002 World Cup winners Ronaldo and
Roberto Carlos for Wednesday, went down to a superb goal from
their former midfielder Douglas, who nutmegged his marker and
shot from outside the box in the 34th minute.
Gremio almost gave away their lead 13 minutes into the
second half when Vilson brought down midfielder Bruno Cesar,
conceding a penalty and being sent off.
Brazil goalkeeper Victor, however, saved the spot kick from
veteran striker Iarley, who had another good chances minutes
later saved on the line by defender Rafael Marques.
Corinthians are banking on Ronaldo, back two weeks ago from
a three-month injury layoff, for a victory over Fluminense that
would put them level on points with a game in hand.
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