State Champs: stuck with the wrong match

Grêmio and Leandro (left) got the better of Internacional (Jefferson Bernardes, VIPCOMM)

The afternoon got off to a terrible start with the news that Corinthians would be wearing jerseys with their mothers’ names on the back as a Mother’s Day tribute. I needed to call on all my powers of concentration to get this shockingly lame marketing gimmick out of my head and focus on the important afternoon of football ahead, starting 16:00 local time. And what an afternoon it promised to be: Corinthians vs. Santos, Internacional vs. Grêmio and Atlético Mineiro vs. Cruzeiro to name just a few of the mouth-watering ties. Continue reading

Derby day decided by penalties

Thiago Neves scores the winner for Flamengo (Maurício Val/VIPCOMM)

After three months of mind numbing State Championships, nearly all of the 24 odd Brazilian State Championships kicked into life yesterday as their reached their finale with a number of historic derby matches deciding trophies and finalists. All of the three main derby matches played on Sunday (Palmeiras x Corinthians, Internacional x Grêmio and Flamengo x Vasco) were decided on penalties while a day earlier Santos beat São Paulo 2-0 away from home to reach the São Paulo State final. Continue reading

State Champs: No surprizes in São Paulo or Rio

Can Felipe stop Flamengo? (Alexandre Brum / FOTOCOM.NET)

With the long winded State Championships finally coming to an end, there were no major surprises in this weekend’s fixtures (sorry about this report being a few days late). In São Paulo, with the league format finished, the top eight teams played each other for a place in the semi-finals. Continue reading

State Championships: final round of league matches

Hasn't fully lived up to expectations yet (Ricardo Ramos/VIPCOMM)

Ronaldinho missed a penalty in the last kick of the game against Macaé in their Rio Cup match. A win would have put Flamengo (who beat Botafogo in a crunch match last weekend thanks to two goals from Thiago Neves) top of their group and meant a semi-final at home to Olaria. With the draw, however, they finished second in their group behind Vasco (who drew 2-2 with Olaria and will face them in the semi) and now play away to Fluminense in the semi-final. Fluminense have recovered well in the competition and topped their group. Continue reading