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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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.