Sao Paulo and Rio State Championship wrap including Lucas’ golaço

Ronaldinho and Flamengo have it all to do against Botafogo (Ricardo Ramos/VIPCOMM)

In the Sao Paulo State Championship Palmeiras deservedly beat Santos 1-0 with some good defending and counter attacking football (okay it was somewhat bureaucratic). Kleber scored their goal in the second half. Corinthians were held to a 0-0 draw Botafogo-SP, the team coached by the interestingly named Argel Fucks. Yes, that’s spelt correctly.

Portuguesa’s chances of reaching the last eight and knock out phase took a whack as they lost at home to the lowly Noroeste 2-0. Some lad scored five for São Caetano (in their 6-1 win against Sao Bernardo) and I figured that was worth a mention but I can’t remember his name. Sao Paulo won 1-0 thanks to a great goal from Lucas. See video below. There are only two games in the league format to go (before the top eight go through to a knock out phase) and no surprises there;  the big four of Palmeiras (38 points), Sao Paulo (37), Corinthians (35) and Santos (34) have all already qualified and the only thing to play for now is home advantage.

In Rio, things are a little more interesting with two games of the league format left before the semi-finals of the Rio Cup. The winners of this cup play Flamengo (who won the Guanabara Cup) to decide the State Champion. See explanation. There is everything to play for in both groups with all four semi-final spots still up for grabs (much more interesting than in Sao Paulo).

In last weekend’s results, in group one, Flamengo beat Duque Caxias 2-0 and move to 11 points and second position. They play Botafogo next weekend in a crunch match for both teams. Botafogo, who have lost their coach Joel Santana, drew 1-1 with lowly Resende and are second in group two (11 points). Fluminense – who beat Volta Redonda 2-1 away from home – are breathing down their necks in third. Vasco beat Bangu 4-0 with midfielder Felipe in inspired form. They lead group one with 13 points. Olaria are the surprize package in group two and lead with 13 points.

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