Vasco moved to the top of the league with a 2-0 away win against Bahia but it was Corinthians who can be happiest with this weekend’s events if you ask me. They snatched a last minute draw away at Internacional (one of the hardest places to go in Brazil) after playing with 10 men for more than 50 minutes. They probably ended Internacional’s title hopes in the process too.
Corinthians can feel very hard done by after they had their captain Alessandro sent off in the first half. They have been the beneficiaries of some very dubious refereeing decisions against Internacional in recent seasons but not this time. The foul was a yellow card at max, surely. That sort of harsh straight red does happen quite a lot in Brazil though mind you.
Anyway, Internacional struggled to shut out the game and former Manchester City flop Jí´ was one of the reasons for that. The injury that is keeping Leandro Damião out of the team didn’t help either. Corinthians hung on and former Internacional idol, Alex, snatched a very late draw for Corinthians with this powerful free kick. Lousy keeping that.
Vasco braved the heat and large crowd up in Bahia and recorded a fantastic 2-0 win. Felipe scored a great goal to set them on their way in the first half and Diego Souza wrapped things up with a Ronaldo style toe-poke late in the second half. They will play São Paulo at home in their next game.
For all of the other top teams it was disastrous weekend: Botafogo lost to relegation threatened Avaí; Fluminense lost at home to Atlético Mineiro; Flamengo (without suspended Ronaldinho and Thiago Neves) and São Paulo could only manage a draws with Santos and Coritiba. The reason I say that Corinthians will be happiest is that they have an easier run in compared to all of their rivals. In fact, on paper, this match was the hardest of their remaining games. We all know that Brazilian football is never decided on paper though so we shall see.