By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Fluminense won the 2012 Brasileirão yesterday after a pulsating 3-2 win over Paulista outfit Palmeiras. Second ranked Atlético-MG’s failure to beat Vasco da Gama gave the Tricolor an unassailable lead at the top of the table with three rounds remaining.
Flu looked like they had wrapped up the points early in the second half after taking a two goal lead through Fred and an own goal. But a Ronaldinho penalty had given Atlético the advantage at São Januário, meaning the race would last another week at least.
That thought was apparently confirmed when Palmeiras brought the score level, but there were twists left in the tail. A Vasco equalizer, courtesy of Juninho Pernambucano, gave Flu hope of wrapping up the title in the 35th round and Abel Braga’s side threw everything at their beleaguered hosts.
Their pressure paid off when Jean’s low cross found Fred free in the area for the number nine to score his nineteenth league goal of the season. The final whistle saw scenes of euphoria as Fluminense lifted their second Brasileirão title in three years.
A historic campaign was brought to its foreseeable conclusion; Flu have the league’s best attack, best defense and have recorded the most victories. It has been a landmark campaign for the Laranjeiras club.
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