RIO DE JANEIRO - Emerson came off the
bench to inspire a dramatic comeback for Brazilian championship
leaders Corinthians on Wednesday, the substitute involved in all
his side's goals in a 3-2 victory at lowly Atletico Mineiro.
At the other end of the table, South American champions
Santos dropped into the relegation zone after a 3-2 defeat by
Coritiba, in which they had two players dismissed and Brazil duo
Neymar and Paulo Henrique Ganso booed off by home fans.
Corinthians, who had won only one of their previous five
matches squandering a seven-point lead, took the field at
Ipatinga under pressure and went behind to first half goals from
midfielder Dudu Cearense and striker Guilherme.
However, the second half took on a different complexion with
striker Emerson coming on for Corinthians in place of right-back
Emerson pulled a goal back within four minutes when he
headed home a corner and four minutes later, was brought down by
defender Rever, who was sent off, with Alex equalising from the
Emerson, who won the championship with Fluminense last year
and Flamengo in 2009, also laid on the 74th-minute winner for
Corinthians could have had a fourth goal but goalkeeper
Renan saved a late penalty by Alex in added-time.
"Sometimes we go on and don't get it right and people
criticise a bit, but what's important is I'm aware of my
importance. It's important to make the most of the chance the
trainer gives you," Emerson told reporters.
Corinthians have 37 points from 17 matches, three more than
unbeaten Flamengo, who meet Atletico Goianiense on Thursday.
Vasco da Gama are third with 33 after a 2-0 away win over Avai.
Santos, who won South America's elite Copa Libertadores club
championship in June, are 17th on 15 points from as many
Striker Borges twice put Santos ahead but he missed a
70th-minute penalty after Coritiba had equalised for the second
time and midfielder Leo Gago scored the winner for the visitors
two minutes from time.
Santos had defender Para sent off for a second booking in
the 75th minute and captain Edu Dracena was also shown the red
card in added-time for dissent.
"We must get back to playing, to being the Santos that
enchanted [South] America. We're trying everything, I gave the
maximum in the match. It's a phase, we're going to turn things
round," a dejected Neymar said.
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