Rio de Janeiro, Nov 6 (EFE) .- Palmeiras, who won the title of the Brazilian Championship on Wednesday three days in advance, tied this Sunday 1-1 in their visit to Cuiabá with a saving goal from Argentine José López and increased to 21 the number of games without defeat in the League.
The green team from Sao Paulo, the team with the highest number of league titles in Brazil, with eleven, reached 78 points in 36 games, so they have an advantage of eleven units over their immediate rival, Internacional (67).
Cuiabá opened the scoring after 5 minutes through Jonathan Cafú, who took advantage of a rebound from goalkeeper Weberton, and played to defend himself for the rest of the game since the victory mathematically guaranteed his permanence in the first division.
Palmeiras pressed constantly but goalkeeper Walter, star of the match, prevented Rony and Dudú from equalizing and saved at least two dangerous shots from Colombian Eduar Atuesta, who hit another ball on the crossbar.
Verdao only managed to equalize in the 75th minute when José ‘el Flaco’ López took advantage of Walter’s only error in the match.
In another of this Sunday’s matches, Coritiba beat Flamengo 1-0 and, despite continuing in fifteenth place, guaranteed its permanence in the first division, since it cannot be caught by any of those who occupy the last four places.
The Curitiba team, supported by 33,000 fans at the Couto Pereira stadium, won with a penalty goal scored in the second half by Alef Manga after an unnecessary foul by Flamengo captain Diego Ribas, who announced on Saturday that he will retire at the end of the Brazilian Championship.
Flamengo, who fielded a team of substitutes after winning their third Copa Libertadores title last week in Ecuador, remained in fifth place, with 61 points, and practically gave up the chance to fight for second place.
The Rio de Janeiro team has already guaranteed its spot in next year’s Libertadores.
Also this Sunday, Atlético Goianiense, which is fighting to get out of the last four places and is seriously threatened with relegation, drew 1-1 away in its visit to Fortaleza.
The visitors opened the scoring through Luiz Fernando but the Venezuelan Rómulo Otero guaranteed the tie for Fortaleza, which is tenth and still has the possibility of obtaining the last available spot for the Libertadores.
The Fortaleza fans, with projections and a mosaic in the stands, took advantage of the game to pay tribute to their coach, Argentine Juan Pablo Vodvoja, and ask him to remain in command next year.
In Saturday’s matches, Internacional, Fluminense and Corinthians, Palmeiras’ immediate escorts, won and maintained the dispute for second place.
Inter beat Athletico Paranaense 2-0 and is second with 67 points, ten behind champion Palmeiras.
Fluminense, third, beat Sao Paulo 3-1, with three goals from Argentinean Germán Cano, leader in the scoring classification with 24 goals.
And Corinthians beat Ceará 1-0 and remained fourth with 64 points, the same as Fluminense, which is third for having the highest number of victories and the best balance of goals.
Palmeiras, Inter, Fluminense, Corinthians and Flamengo have already guaranteed direct places in the Libertadores and the sixth is provisionally held by Athletico Paranaense, who, with 54 points, still runs the risk of being evicted by América (52), Atlético Mineiro (52), São Paulo (51) or Fortaleza (49).
Avaí and Juventude no longer have a mathematical chance of remaining in the first division, and the fight to avoid relegation is limited to Cuiabá, Ceará and Atlético Goianiense, of which only one can be saved. EFE
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