RIO DE JANEIRO - Former Brazil striker
Ronaldo proved his worth by winning and converting a penalty
three minutes from time to give Corinthians a 1-0 win over
title rivals Cruzeiro on Saturday.
Corinthians' home victory in Sao Paulo put them top of the
Brazilian championship standings on 63 points with three
matches to go.
Ronaldo, 34, chased a lofted ball into the box and was
brought down by defender Gil three minutes from time. Cruzeiro
players protested in vain and Gil was sent off for a second
Cruzeiro striker Thiago Ribeiro told reporters the penalty
decision smacked of favouritism for the big name clubs.
"You can already give our players their holidays. You may
as well give the title to Corinthians or Fluminense," he said
tongue in cheek. "It's the Rio-Sao Paulo axis."
Ronaldo, who began his career at Cruzeiro, said there was
nothing wrong with the decision.
"I was hit hard from behind right after controlling the
ball with my chest. I don't think there was any doubt it was a
penalty," he said.
"Cruzeiro have an excellent, attacking team with fast
players. I think we got this win with guts and stature."
Struggling champions Flamengo were thumped 4-1 away by
Atletico Mineiro and were sucked back into the battle to avoid
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midfielder Diego Renan, twice, scored the goals that lifted
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