RIO DE JANEIRO - South American champions
Internacional, knocked out of the Libertadores Cup in midweek,
went down to a second consecutive home defeat when they were
beaten 3-2 by arch-rivals Gremio in the first leg of the Gaucho
state final on Sunday.
Cruzeiro, Libertadores favourites who were also upset on
Wednesday, lost their "clasico" against Atletico Mineiro 2-1 in
the first leg of the Mineiro (Minas Gerais) state championship.
Santos, the only one of five Brazilian teams to qualify for
the last eight of the Libertadores, held Corinthians 0-0 in the
first leg of the Paulista in Sao Paulo but lost Paulo Henrique
Ganso to injury.
Brazil playmaker Ganso suffered a thigh muscle injury that
makes him doubtful for Wednesday's first leg of their
Libertadores quarter-final away to Once Caldas in Colombia.
"Players should always be fit but with this tough series (of
matches you risk) them ending up hurt. I'm always going to
complain but it doesn't get us anywhere with this sort of bad
luck," Santos coach Muricy Ramalho told reporters.
Ronaldinho's Flamengo won the Carioca (Rio de Janeiro) title
last weekend in the season-opening state competitions, which
come to an end before the May 21 start of the Brazilian
Internacional, upset 2-1 by Penarol of Uruguay in the first
knockout round of the Libertadores, took an early lead through
Andrezinho in the Gaucho (Rio Grande do Sul) final first leg at
But their bitter Porto Alegre city rivals Gremio, also
eliminated from the Libertadores on Wednesday, pulled level with
a header from striker Junior Viscosa over poorly-positioned
goalkeeper Renan shortly before half-time.
Gremio went ahead seconds after the interval with a goal by
midfielder Leandro following a one-two with Viscosa. Inter
equalised through young Brazil striker Leandro Damiao in the
82nd but Vicosa headed the winner over Renan five minutes from
Gremio, who need only a draw in the second leg at the
Olimpico next Sunday to be crowned state champions, had their
Argentine midfielder Damian Escudero sent off in the final
"We're aware of what's happened but we haven't had time to
work," said Inter coach and idol Falcao, who took charge last
"We've had seven deciders from the 17th until this Sunday
with game after game. We can't train, we feel the lack of
practice," he told reporters looking back over a run of key
matches in two competitions.
The Mineiro final first leg at the Arena do Jacare
(alligator's arena) in Sete Lagoas was decided in the first half
with right-back Patrick scoring Atletico's winner eight minutes
It ended with some arguing and pushing among players after
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