Deco shone as Fluminense
demonstrated they would not give up their Brazilian championship
title without a fight with a 2-1 win at Internacional on Sunday.
Flu will have joint leaders Corinthians and Vasco da Gama
looking nervously over their shoulders after both lost at the
Inspired by former Chelsea and Portugal midfielder Deco, who
laid on both goals, Fluminense climbed to third with 56 points,
two behind the leaders with five matches remaining.
Botafogo and Flamengo are a further point back in the
tightest championship race since the present league format was
introduced in 2003.
Fluminense, who have had the best results in the second half
of the 38-match championship, inflicted a rare defeat on Inter
in their Beira Rio stadium in the southern city of Porto Alegre.
Deco crossed for Rafael Moura to head the visitors into the
lead in the 17th minute and teed up former Inter and Brazil
striker Rafael Sobis to score the winner in the last move of the
first half after Oscar's equaliser.
Other results went Fluminense's way, especially the shock
2-1 defeat for Corinthians by the virtually relegated bottom
team America Mineiro.
Although they were the visitors, Corinthians had some 40,000
fans at the Parque do Sabia stadium in Uberlandia for a match
the visitors were expected to win.
America, with only four wins in their 32 previous matches,
had other ideas and Amaral scored with a free-kick in the 88th
minute to secure the victory.
Fabio Junior had put America ahead with a 35th-minute
penalty and Corinthians equalised before half-time, also with a
penalty converted by defender Chicao.
Corinthians clung to their slender lead in the standings on
goal difference thanks to Vasco's 2-0 defeat away to South
American champions Santos.
Teenage Brazil striker Neymar sparkled again for Santos,
putting them ahead with a free-kick in the fourth minute and
creating a string of chances squandered by team-mates.
Finally fellow striker Borges, the championship's top scorer
with 23 goals, put one of Neymar's chances away in a match
marking playmaker Paulo Henrique Ganso's return from an injury
he suffered playing for Brazil in a friendly against Ghana in
London in September.
Ronaldinho's Flamengo crushed Cruzeiro 5-1 with a Thiago
Neves hat-trick and two goals by Deivid pushing the twice South
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