Santos 'keeper clashes with fans after blunder

September 21, 2006

RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Santos goalkeeper Fabio Costa clashed with a group of his team's fans as he left the stadium after making a blunder in the 1-1 draw with Fluminense, Brazilian media said.

An unhappy night for the burly goalkeeper began when his mistake allowed Fluminense to snatch a late equaliser in the Brazilian championship match.

Costa misjudged a Fluminense free kick and Santos defender Luiz Alberto headed the ball into his own net.

As he left the field, Costa was involved in an angry exchange with Santos fans behind his goal during which he was seen to make insulting gestures.

Brazilian media said that on leaving the stadium later, the goalkeeper lashed out at one fan who insulted him and was attacked by a group of around 15 supporters who kicked and hit him.

Security men pulled the fans off him and Costa was left with a bruised cheek and cut finger.

Santos had taken the lead midway through the second half with a controversial penalty awarded when Rodrigo Tabata appeared to trip in the penalty area. Cleber Santana fired home.

The draw left Vanderlei Luxemburgo's team third in the championship with 40 points from 25 games but they fell nine behind leaders Sao Paulo, who won 1-0 at Sao Caetano.

Sao Paulo's winner was a fortuitous effort from midfielder Richarlyson, whose intended cross found its way through the Sao Caetano defence and into the net in the 47th minute.

Gremio stayed four points behind Sao Paulo in second place by thumping Ponte Preta 4-0, following their win by the same score over Botafogo three days earlier.

Hugo fired in from close range in the 20th minute and then set up the second for Lucas just before halftime. Argentine substitute German Herrera added two more late in the game.

South American champions Internacional dropped to fourth when they lost 1-0 to a controversial goal at Figueirense.

Marquinhos Parana scored the winner as referee Heber Lopes over-ruled a linesman who had waved for offside.

The Florianopolis team, who had not won in their previous eight outings, moved up to seventh with 36 points.

Defending champions Corinthians remained languishing dangerously close to the relegation zone after being held 1-1 at home by Vasco da Gama.

After briefly kneeling down and praying over the ball, midfielder Andrade fired home a free kick for Vasco in the first half.

Rafael Moura scrambled the equaliser in the 71st minute shortly after Corinthians coach Emerson Leao had made a triple substitution.