RIO DE JANEIRO - Former FIFA World Player
of the Year Ronaldinho inspired Flamengo to a 4-0 home win over
Avai in their opening match of the Brazilian championship on
Holders Fluminense were upset 2-0 at home by Santos while
Corinthians beat Gremio 2-1 away thanks to a fine performance
from striker Liedson.
Ronaldinho, who had disappointed Flamengo fans with his
indifferent form since joining from AC Milan in January, scored
a brilliant goal and laid on another for Diego Mauricio with a
one-two inside the box.
Modest Avai fielded a second-string side ahead of their Copa
Brasil semi-final on Wednesday.
"That's as good as it gets. To return scoring a goal, laying
on another after a long time is marvellous," Ronaldinho told
"I'm going to try to go after the conquest that's missing
from my curriculum," added Ronaldinho, who had been criticised
and jeered by fans after Flamengo's Copa Brasil elimination
earlier in May.
Brazil teenager Lucas and striker Dagoberto scored the goals
for Sao Paulo, who won the Brazilian championship three years in
a row between 2006 and 2008 but have not been in form this year
and lost Brazil 2010 World Cup striker Luis Fabiano to injury.
Dagoberto opened the scoring in the 34th minute, finishing a
good move involving Casemiro and Lucas, who increased Sao
Paulo's lead four minutes after the break with a solo run and
shot into the roof of the net.
"We want to get rid of that poor phase we've had in the
first half of the year and from here on it's only victories. Sao
Paulo are a big team, with tradition and only we players can
charge our situation," Lucas told reporters.
Fluminense midfielders Deco and Argentine Dario Conca, voted
best player in Brazil last season, had little impact on the
At the Olimpico in Porto Alegre, Gremio went ahead just
before the hour with a Douglas penalty but within 15 minutes
Liedson had turned the match round for Corinthians.
Captain Chicao converted a 66th-minute penalty after a foul
on Liedson, who then volleyed home the winner from a throw-in.
Santos, resting several leading players for Wednesday's
Libertadores Cup semi-final first leg against Paraguay's Cerro
Porteno, drew 1-1 at home to Internacional, while Cruzeiro went
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