Former Brazil striker
Adriano scored his first goal after eight months at Corinthians
to give them a 2-1 win over Atletico Mineiro on Sunday that kept
his side on course for the Brazilian championship with two
matches to go.
Adriano, who signed in March but had only made four
appearances due to injury and fitness problems, scored with a
characteristic left-footed shot into the top of the net to seal
the home win in the 89th minute at the Pacaembu in Sao Paulo.
Corinthians were a goal down to relegation threatened
Atletico only 10 minutes earlier and in danger of relinquishing
their lead in the standings to Vasco da Gama, who beat bottom
team Avai 2-0 in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday.
However, former Portugal striker Liedson headed the
equaliser from right-back Alessandro's cross after the visitors
from Belo Horizonte had taken the lead 11 minutes into the
second half with a header from central defender Leonardo Silva.
Former Inter Milan and Flamengo striker Adriano, who came on
in the 68th minute, had done little of note until he received
the ball in the box from Emerson and blasted a shot into the
roof of the net.
"This goal is very important for me. After more than a year
without scoring, to be able to hit such a goal is hard to
explain," said Adriano, who by taking off his shirt to celebrate
not only earned a yellow card but also showed he was overweight.
"I still have a lot to do but [coach] Tite put his
confidence in me and I managed to score at the end," Adriano,
top scorer in the championship when he helped Flamengo win the
title in 2009, told reporters.
Third-placed Fluminense, who have won 12 of their last 17
matches, kept their title defence alive with a 4-0 rout of
fifth-placed Figueirense to remain five points behind
Corinthians and three adrift of Vasco.
Their captain Fred hit a hat-trick to take his tally to
seven goals in five days after scoring four in Wednesday's 5-4
win over Gremio.
Internacional climbed into the top four, which are
qualifying berths for next year's South American Copa
Libertadores club championship, with a 2-1 away win over
Botafogo, who dropped to eighth after their sixth defeat in
America Mineiro's three-match winning-streak, which included
victories over Corinthians and Fluminense, in their fight to
avoid relegation came to an end with Saturday's 3-1 defeat at
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