Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

Brazil: Santos secure first Copa Brasil title (+video)

Posted in South America Football by peterbein on August 5, 2010

Santos FC are the new Copa Brasil winners despite losing Wednesday’s second leg against Vitória by two goals to one. Their 2-0 first leg triumph was ultimately enough to see them home although they could’ve scored as many as ten goals in that game such was their attacking dominance. In the end they were grateful that Vitória ran out of time as they went looking for a third goal which would’ve taken the game into extra-time.

The first half looked to be ending in a goalless stalemate as the seconds ticked away towards half-time but an Edu Dracena header on the edge of half-time gave Santos a 1-0 lead on the night and 3-0 on aggregate to give the São Paulo team a comfortable lead going into the second half of the match. But Vitória weren’t prepared to lie down and they almost pulled off the great escape by scoring two goals thanks to Wallace and Júnior, the latter’s goal coming in the 77th minute to set up a grandstand finish. But Santos were able to hold out for the remainder of the game and secured their maiden Copa Brasil title and with it a place in the Copa Libertadores for the 2011 tournament.

WATCH COPA BRASIL 2ND LEG HIGHLIGHTS HERE:

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Brazil: Santos hold the advantage in Copa final (+video)

Posted in South America Football by peterbein on July 29, 2010

The first leg of the 2010 Copa do Brasil (Brazilian Cup) final between Santos FC and Esporte Clube Vitória took place in the former’s home stadium of the Estádio Urbano Caldeira last night and it was to be the home side who would be celebrating a first leg 2-0 advantage at the end of ninety minutes. Neymar, who is the top scorer in this year’s competition, scored his eleventh goal of the tournament, and the first goal of the game, after just fourteen minutes nonchalantly guiding the ball home after a cross from the right-hand side of the field from full-back Para. Inbetween Santos’ first and second goals there were a glut of chances wasted by the home side and it’s fair to say that the tie could’ve been as good as over had not been for a combination of wasted opportunities and some good goalkeeping from Lee in the Vitória goal, an example of the latter came in the 72nd minute when a penalty from Neymar was saved after the striker had tried to trick him. Despite his good work he allowed a potentially vital second goal to be scored in the 83rd minute when substitute Marquinhos curled home a beautiful free-kick to give Santos the cushion they needed going into next week’s second leg, which will be played in the Estádio Barradão in the city of Salvador next Wednesday.

Watch Santos FC – EC Vitória 1st leg highlights HERE:

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Campeonato Paulista: will Corinthians be on fire again?

Posted in South America Football by peterbein on January 17, 2010
Corinthians

The Paulista trophy caught fire during the bizarre presentation after Corinthians won the 2009 tournament.

Following on from yesterday’s preview into the Carioca championship taking place in neighbouring Rio de Janeiro, the Paulista championship of 2010 begins this weekend in São Paulo where defending champions Corinthians go in search of their 27th title.

There are hopes among everybody involved in Sport Club Corinthians that 2010 will be a truly memorable year. Having won the 2009 Paulista state championship and the Copa do Brasil, the Timão will be hoping to do better in their centenary year, winning either the Campeonato Brasileiro (national championship) or a maiden Copa Libertadores (South American Champions League). But first they will concentrate on winning the Paulista tournament for a second successive year, starting today away at Monte Azul.

The Campeonato Paulista has a different format to the Carioca (indeed, each state championship decides its own format). In the first stage the twenty clubs play each other once only and the top four go through into the two-legged semi-finals followed by a two-legged final with teams playing at each other’s stadiums in contrast to the Carioca, where teams play the final games at the Estadio Maracanã. The first stage of last year’s competition was topped by Palmeiras (44pts from 19 games) followed by São Paulo FC, Corinthians and Santos FC. Out of the top four though only Corinthians managed to maintain an unbeaten record, the others losing at least one game. In the semi-finals Corinthians came from behind in the first leg to beat São Paulo FC 2-1 before seeing off their arch-rivals with a 2-0 return leg victory at the Estadio Morumbi to clinch the tie 4-1 on aggregate. The final proved to be more comfortable for Corinthians as they defeated Santos FC 3-1 away from home in the first leg with newly-returned Brazilian legend Ronaldo scoring twice. In the second leg at home Santos FC scored early on through Kléber Pareira on 28 minutes before an equaliser six minutes later from André Santos restored the overall two goal cushion of the tie and the match petered out into an easy triumph for Corinthians who won 4-2 on aggregate to seal their 26th title, the fifth Paulista championship which they had won with an unbeaten record (they did likewise in 1914, 1916, 1929 and 1938). The trophy presentation that took place after the match proved to be the abiding memory of the championship. Upon receiving the trophy on a raising platform the Corinthians captain William had an almighty scare as the fireworks and streamers going off around him flew on to the trophy which promptly caught fire, forcing him to drop the cup. Thankfully neither he nor any of the presentation party were hurt in what proved to be a comical episode (watch the video clip here).

Not only will Corinthians have Ronaldo on their roster but another Brazilian legend Roberto Carlos comes back to play in his home country having spent many years at Real Madrid and the last two and a half seasons at Fenerbahçe Istanbul. The pair will hope to bring domestic and international success to the club having won many titles together with the Brazilian national team. If the Corinthians team can catch fire in a similar manner to the Paulista trophy then one expects that they will be celebrating again at the end of the competition.

Unlikely heroes end Flamengo’s 17 year title drought

Posted in South America Football by peterbein on December 7, 2009
Dejan Petkovic

Dejan Petkovic celebrates Flamengo's Brasileiro triumph

Brazilian giants Flamengo were, eventually, made to work hard for the Brazilian national championship (Brasileiro) after they toiled to a 2-1 victory over Grêmio at a sell-out Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. The “Rubro Negro” (Red and Blacks) have now won six Brazilian national championships, thus equalling the number already achieved by outgoing champions São Paulo.

At the start of the day there were four teams with a mathematical chance of winning the title: Flamengo, Internacional, São Paulo and Palmeiras. The fact that Flamengo were playing at home to Internacional’s arch-rivals from the city of Porto Alegre, Grêmio, meant that many fans and pundits had written this game off as a certain three points for “O Mengão”. What wasn’t in the script though was Grêmio taking the lead, Roberson turning home a corner in the 22nd minute to stun the home supporters. Thankfully for the Red and Black masses they didn’t have too long to wait before parity was restored. Centre-half David shot from distance to level it at 1-1 on the half-hour mark and it was to remain at that score at half-time. Elsewhere Internacional’s 2-0 lead at home to already relegated Santo André meant that if scores stayed the same after 90 minutes then Flamengo would lose the title that they craved more than any other. They simply had to win.

The second half started quite slowly but Flamengo soon created chances. They were rewarded in the 70th minute when Dejan Petkovic’s left-sided corner was headed home by another unlikely scorer, centre-half Ronaldo Angelim, and the Flamengo fans started to party in the Maracana. Ten minutes from the end the party was very nearly brought to a halt as Adilson wasted a glorious close range effort for Grêmio. After that though both teams just saw the game out and at the final whistle the party really could begin. Adriano, who returned to Brazil after a roller-coaster period at Internazionale in Italy, finished the season as joint top scorer in the Brasileiro (along with Mineiro’s Diego Tardelli on 19 goals) and, more importantly, as a champion.

In the other matches Internacional beat Santo André 4-1 to secure the runners-up spot from São Paulo, whose three year reign as champions ended with a 4-0 win against Sport Recife. Flamengo, Internacional and São Paulo are joined in the 2010 Copa Libertadores by Cruzeiro, who finished fourth after their 2-1 victory against Santos was coupled with a defeat for nearest challengers Palmeiras (2-1 away to Botafogo). Corinthians, home of Ronaldo and recent signing Roberto Carlos, also have a berth in the Libertadores thanks to their Copa Brasil triumph over Internacional in the early months of the season.

Eight teams qualified for next year’s Copa Sudamericana: Palmeiras, Avaí, Atlético Mineiro, Grêmio, Goias, Barueri, Santos and Vitoria. At the bottom of the table a dramatic finish saw Rio giants Fluminense avoid relegation by one point after their 1-1 draw at Coritiba was enough to send their opponents down into Serie B along with Sport Recife, Náutico and Santo André. Those four clubs will be replaced in the 2010 Brasileiro by Vasco da Gama, Guarani, Ceará and Atletico Goianiense.