Brazil review

Corinthians win title on emotional day

December 4, 2011

Corinthians celebrated the memory of former Brazil captain Socrates by picking up the point they required to win the Campeonato Brasileiro on the final day of the season.

Corinthians players celebrate with their fans
GettyImagesCorinthians players celebrate with their fans

• Socrates dies at age of 57

Corinthians emerged from an ugly encounter against Palmeiras with a goalless draw to end the campaign two points clear of Vasco da Gama and seal their first league crown since 2005.

The match was played under a shadow after the announcement earlier on Sunday of 57-year-old Socrates' death from severe septicaemia.

One of the greatest players of his generation, Socrates won 60 caps for Brazil and captained the 'Selecao' at the 1982 World Cup.

His club career included spells at Botafogo, Fiorentina, Flamengo and Santos, but it was at Corinthians that he carved out his reputation as one of the greats, scoring 172 goals in 297 games and winning three league championships.

A minute's silence was held before every match in the Brazilian league, although it was sad that what followed during Corinthians' stalemate with Palmeiras was a world away from the cultured game made famous by Socrates.

Both sides ended with nine men in a bad-tempered encounter, which was marred by a mass brawl late on.

Palmeiras' Jorge Valdivia was the first player to receive his marching orders after 48 minutes, while Corinthians' Reis Wallace followed him down the tunnel in the 74th minute. The late brawl led to the dismissals of Castan Leandro for the hosts and Palmeiras' Joao Vitor.

The draw meant the outcome of Vasco's match with Flamengo was immaterial, although the hosts would have hoped for better than a 1-1 stalemate.

Diego Souza fired Vasco ahead on 29 minutes but Renato levelled nine minutes into the second period. Freitas Jumar was dismissed for the hosts 20 minutes from time, while goalscorer Renato saw red for Flamengo late on.

Fluminense finished the season in third after a 1-1 draw at Botafogo. Fred opened the scoring for Fluminense after five minutes but Felipe Menezes (12) levelled. Edwin Valencia was sent off for the visitors 13 minutes from time.

Atletico Paranaense saw their relegation confirmed despite a 1-0 win over Coritiba courtesy of Joffre Guerron's strike on 73 minutes.

Ceara also dropped into Serie B with a 2-1 loss at Bahia. Guilherme Camacho (13) and Luiz Lulinha (43) put Bahia in charge, while Felipe Azevedo's strike on half-time was in vain for the visitors.

Already-relegated America MG were thumped 5-1 by Atletico Goianiense. Goals by Reinaldo Felipe (12), Luiz Marcio (16), Rosa Gilson (40), Brito Anailson (72) and Paulo Henrique (86) saw Atletico to victory, while America replied with a Paulo Henrique own goal.

Bottom side Avai bowed out of the top flight with a 1-1 draw at home to Figueirense, Diogo Orlando (44) opening the scoring for the hosts before Araujo Heber (46) levelled. Julio Cesar was dismissed for the visitors on 53 minutes.

Cruzeiro dispelled lingering relegation fears with a 6-1 demolition of Atletico Mineiro, goals by Roger (10), Leandro Guerreiro (29), Ramon Anselmo (34), Fabricio (45), Wellington Paulista (57) and Everton (90) doing the damage.

Wellington Paulista was dismissed for Cruzeiro 12 minutes from time. Atletico replied through Humberto Rever (61) and also lost Werley to a red card.

Luis Fabiano scored in each half and Santos Cicero (33) and Lucas Moura (38) also tallied as Sao Paulo ran out 4-1 winners over Santos, who replied through Blumer Elano.

Internacional defeated Gremio 1-0 thanks to Andres D'Alessandro's 61st-minute penalty.