Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

Brazil: Corinthians and Ceará share the lead (+video)

Posted in South America Football by peterbein on June 7, 2010

Brasileiro new boys Ceará SC continue to keep up the pace with league leaders Corinthians whose lead is now determined by goal difference after Matchday 7 of Brazil’s national football league. With the league taking a pause ahead of the FIFA World Cup tournament it was important for all of the teams to record a win before the enforced break set-in but Corinthians were unable to preserve their two point lead in the table and were, in fact, very fortunate to remain top when equalizing in the last minute of their 2-2 draw against Botafogo. Ceará SC, who were promoted from Brazil’s Serie B last season, have started well and kept up the momentum with a 1-0 win against Atlético Mineiro and means that the top two are still unbeaten since the Campeonato Brasileiro season began. Champions Flamengo, however, continue their inconsistent streak going down to a two goals to one home defeat against Goiás Esporte Clube, who promptly overtook their opponents in the standings.

Corinthians were away in Rio de Janeiro and hoped to beat Botafogo in order to maintain a two point cushion in the standings but things wouldn’t work out like that despite Bruno César giving O Timão the lead after thirty minutes when taking advantage of some sloppy Botafogo defending to drive the ball hard and low into the corner. Corinthians kept hold of their narrow lead into the half-time interval but it only took two minutes of the second half for Botafogo to restore parity when Renato Cajá was able to turn the ball home from a couple of yards out after Corinthians’ keeper Felipe failed to keep out an earlier effort. There were chances aplenty in the second half with both teams looking dangerous and it was no surprise in the 73rd minute when the ball was hitting the back of the net again. This time it was Lúcio Flávio who stunned Corinthians after Botafogo broke away on the counter attack from a Corinthians corner kick. Marcelo Cordeiro brought the ball forward for Botafogo in a three against two situation and passed the ball to Lúcio Flávio who steered the ball home from just inside the box to give the home side a 2-1 lead. But just when it seemed Botafogo would gain all three points the visitors rescued a point in dramatic fashion. Paulo André ghosted into the penalty box to rise highest and meet a corner kick three minutes into stoppage time at the near post to stun the home side and give Corinthians a share of the spoils from an exciting game. Watch Match Highlights HERE:

Ceará SC only needed a solitary strike to put themselves level on points with Corinthians in their 1-0 win over Atlético Mineiro. Washington popped up at the far post in the 54th minute getting on the end of a left-sided cross to give Ceará SC the three points and they now trail the league leaders by just one goal’s difference. Fluminense, Santos and Guarani all remain in the top five of the table having secured victories against Avaí FC, Vasco da Gama and Grêmio Prudente respectively while joint record champions São Paulo also won to stay in sixth place, a Dagoberto hat-trick giving the Tricolor the points in a 3-1 home win over Grêmio of Belo Horizonte. Flamengo, whose title win last season brought them level with São Paulo with six Brasileiro title wins, have stuttered at the start of this season and remain in mid-table after losing 2-1 at home to Goiás Esporte Clube. Toró’s 50th minute goal seemed to have given the Mengão the three points but two goals in the last five minutes won the tie for Goiás thanks to goals from Hugo and Otacílio Neto. Watch Match Highlights HERE:

Other matches on Matchday 7 saw bottom side Atlético Goianiense finally record their first win of the season defeating Cruzeiro by two goals to one reducing the gap between themselves and Vasco da Gama to one point. Internacional came from behind to retrieve a point in their 1-1 home draw against mid-table Palmeiras while Esporte Clube Vitória squeezed to a narrow 1-0 win against Atlético Paranaense, Schwenk’s goal was the difference allowing Vitória to overtake their opponents on the back of this win. When the league resumes on July 14th there is an early-season top of the table clash between Ceará SC and Corinthians with both teams wanting to make a statement. There are also a couple of Clásicos with Rio rivals Flamengo and Botafogo meeting each other while in São Paulo there’s a meeting between Santos FC and Palmeiras. At the bottom of the table there’s a crucial game between bottom side Atlético Goianense and Atlético Mineiro who lie two places above their opponents in 18th place.

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