By Georgia Grimond, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Brasileiro Série A football (soccer) competition came to close last night, Sunday December 6th. With Corinthians having already secured the top spot, teams were left fighting for the next three positions and those at the bottom of the table striving to avoid relegation.
Atlético-MG and Grêmio were just behind Corinthians and safe in second and third place respectively, but it was São Paulo FC that had everything to play for. In an unexciting match against Goiás, Roger managed to score in the second half stoppage time, leaving the final score 1-0. It was enough to secure fourth for São Paulo and to ensure Goiás relegation to the Série B.
Vasco, a Carioca team, finished eighteenth out of the twenty teams, meaning they too will be relegated for the second time in three years. They ended on a goalless draw against Coritiba at Couto Pereira.
Rio team Flamengo played a friendly match against the recent winners of the Copa do Brasil, Palmeiras. Since both teams were firmly in the middle of the table the outcome of the game was of little importance to either club.
The visiting crowd were still jubilant after their recent win and filled the Marcanã with shouts and chants. Dudu and Victor Hugo scored for Palmeiras and Flamengo was only able to come back with one goal from Pará leaving the score 2-1.
Fluminense, who were just one place behind Flamengo, in the middle of the competition rankings, finished 1-0 down against Figueirense. It made little difference to the Cariocas but saved their opponents from relegation.
At matches across the country, players stood still and folded their arms before kick-off in protest against corruption in the sport. They were demanding the resignation of Marco Polo Del Nero, the president of the Brazilian Football Confederation, who was indicted by U.S. authorities on Thursday, December 3rd. He maintains his innocence but has taken a leave of absence to fight the charges.