Brazilian Futebol

News and opinion about Brazilian football (soccer).

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A closer look at the first round results

Here's a closer look at the results from the first round of the 2008 Brazilian Serie A.

In a tough match, with Sao Paulo playing without some key players in order to rest for the midweek match against Fluminense for the Libertadores quarter-finals, Gremio scored a lone goal at the start of the second half to escape with a 1-0 away win and extend Celso Roth's command atop the squad from Porto Alegre. Sao Paulo still had some chances and deserved to tie the game, but in the end the result did not upset the locals too much, given that the team's main goal in the first semester is to win the Libertadores.

Cruzeiro had a great away win over a weak Vitoria side in Salvador. Marcelo Moreno scored the opening goal for the visitors in the first minute of the game, but was sent off in the second half when his team already lead by two goals, thanks to an own goal by a Vitoria player near the end of the first half. Playing with the man advantage, the locals still created a few chances, but the best chance they had was a ball that hit the crossbar.

Coming back to the first division of Brazilian soccer, Coritiba had a strong debut with a 2-0 win over Sao Paulo State champions Palmeiras. The visitors tried to dominate the action during the first few minutes of the game, but Coritiba was the better side for most of the game. After a scoreless first half, Michel made it 1-0 at the 53rd minute, after exchanging some passes with Hugo. With seven minutes left in the game, the two would exchange some passes again, but this time Hugo would be the one to get the ball past goalkeeper Marcos.

In Sao Paulo, Portuguesa and Figueirense scored no less than 10 goals, in an exciting 5-5 draw. The locals were winning by a 5-2 score at one point, after scoring three goals in four minutes. However, Figueirense would still score three times in the final 22 minutes to give the game its final numbers.

Flamengo defeated Santos 3-1 at the Maracana Stadium, with Juan scoring twice and Marcinho getting the other goal for the locals. The visitors, playing with its reserve side - most starters were already in Mexico getting ready for the midweek clash against America for the Libertadores quarter-finals -, still had a late goal, with Morais scoring on a penalty kick in injury time.

In other games, Geraldo scored two for Nautico in the 2-1 win against Goias. Inter scored in the first minute against Vasco with Sidnei, and held on to the win until the end. Atletico Paranaense also scored near the start of the game, with Leo Medeiros leaving his mark against Ipatinga after just three minutes, giving the visitors a good 1-0 away win over the team from Minas Gerais, which played its first ever game in the Serie A. Botafogo defeated Sport 2-0, with one goal in each half. Finally, resting some players for the Libertadores clash with Sao Paulo, Fluminense went to Belo Horizonte and tied Atletico Mineiro 0-0.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Defending champions lose in debut

Here are this weekend's results, for the first round of the 2008 Brazilian Serie A. Two-time defending champions Sao Paulo played with a reserve squad and lost at home to Gremio, 1-0. Newcomers Ipatinga also lost by the minimum score at home, to Atletico Paranaense. Cruzeiro recovered from the midweek loss at home to Boca Juniors, going to Salvador to defeat Vitoria - coming back to the First Division - by a 2-0 score. Nautico had a good debut, defeating Goias at home, 2-1. Sao Paulo State Champions Palmeiras lost to Coritiba away from home, 2-0. Internacional had a 1-0 home win over Vasco, while Botafogo had a 2-0 win at home against Sport. Fluminense also fielded a reserve squad in order to rest for the important Libertadores quarter-final against Sao Paulo, and managed a scoreless draw against Atletico Mineiro. Flamengo had a good 3-1 win at home over Santos, and Portuguesa played to a wild 5-5 home draw against Figueirense.

More comments about the games when I manage to come back tomorrow.

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Friday, May 09, 2008

First round games

Here are the ten games that open the 2008 Brazilian Serie A. Three are on Saturday, the rest on Sunday:

Sao Paulo-Gremio

Ipatinga-Atletico Paranaense
Atletico Mineiro-Fluminense


Serie A about to begin

With most State Championships now over, it's time for soccer in Brazil to concentrate back to its most important tournament, the National Serie A.

Will two-time defending champion Sao Paulo manage a third consecutive championship? Will Palmeiras continue its strong play that rewarded the team with its first State championship this decade? Can Flamengo and Cruzeiro overcome the disappointment of being eliminated at home from Copa Libertadores contention this midweek, after falling to America (Mexico) and Boca Juniors respectively?

Without traditional Corinthians, relegated to the Serie B, the Serie A will definitely have a different flavor to the second largest group of fans in the country. The team can only hope to repeat the path taken previously by other powerhouses that reemerged from the Second Division in recent years: Palmeiras, Botafogo, Fluminense, Gremio and Atletico Mineiro.

It's all up for grabs with 38 matches to be played by each team, until the beginning of the still far December.

With the Serie A back in play, so is this blog, which was dormant for the first four months of the year.

Welcome back!