Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

Brazil: Corinthians seal fifth title in tight Brasileiro finish (video)

Posted in South America Football by peterbein on December 4, 2011

The Brazilian national championship has made a habit of last day climaxes in recent years and this season’s competition is no exception. Corinthians (Played 38, Points 71) won their fifth Brasileiro tonight, their first league title since 2005, following a goalless draw against arch rivals Palmeiras. This came at the expense of Vasco da Gama who, needing all three points in the event of a slip up by Corinthians, were only able to draw 1-1 at home to Flamengo in another high profile derby match. On a day in which Brazilian football legend Socrates passed away, it was perhaps a fitting tribute to him that one of his old clubs should go on to win the title. Socrates served the São Paulo based club with distinction from 1978-84 in what was his most productive spell with any one club.

It was derby day in Brazil as the national federation had decided that the final round of matches should produce some thrilling drama on the last day and they weren’t disappointed. Although Corinthians’ match with Palmeiras remained goalless both teams were reduced to nine men as each side battled to get one over the other in a derby where there is no love lost and in which emotions certainly ran high with confrontations amongst the players commonplace throughout the game. Palmeiras thought they had ruined Corinthians’ title party by getting the draw but news came through of Vasco’s draw with Flamengo which prevented the former from overtaking Corinthians in the standings, the margin between the top two teams remaining at two points. Just to add a little spice to that encounter there were two red cards in that game as well, one for each side.

But it wasn’t just at the very top of the table where things were interesting. With places in next season’s Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana to be sorted and relegation matters to be resolved at the bottom there were very few teams playing tonight for whom nothing mattered. Fluminense and Flamengo got the point they needed to secure Copa Libertadores placings for next season along with Internacional who, in the Porto Alegre derby, got the better of arch foes Grêmio by a 1-0 score line. Santos FC (2011 Copa Libertadores champions) and Vasco da Gama (2011 Copa Brasil winners) were already assured of their Libertadores places for next season before tonight’s games took place.

Copa Sudamericana places went to eight clubs – São Paulo, Figueirense, Coritiba, Botafogo, Palmeiras, Grêmio, Atletico Goianiense and EC Bahia – whilst four clubs were unfortunate to experience that sinking feeling as Avaí, América Mineiro, Ceará SC and Atlético Paranaense were relegated into Serie B next season. Cruzeiro of Belo Horizonte and Atlético Mineiro were lucky to stay in the top flight as they finished just two and four points above the relegation zone respectively.

CORINTHIANS v PALMEIRAS MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Brazil: Legend Socrates dies in hospital

Posted in South America Football by peterbein on December 4, 2011

Socrates BrazilBrazilian football legend Socrates has died at the age of 57 it has been reported today.

The former Botafogo, São Paulo, Corinthians, Flamengo and Fiorentina player was taken to hospital on Friday with food poisoning and later died through an intestinal infection.

Socrates was perhaps best known amongst football followers for his performances with the Brazilian national team in the 1982 and 1986 FIFA World Cups and it is sad that he is one of few Brazilians superstar players never to win a major tournament with the Seleção. Nonetheless he was a distinctive creative midfielder who won 60 caps for his country and, in more recent times, had made a surprise one-off substitute appearance in 2004 with English Evo-Stik Northern Premier League (eighth-tier) team Garforth Town.

Stoppage Time wishes to pay its respects to a great footballer who has been cruelly taken away at a young age.

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