By Nelson Belen, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Campeonato Brasileiro national football (soccer) tournament, know as the Brasileirão, moved into round five last night. Rio de Janeiro has only three of its four big clubs in the Série A, with two of them seeing action late Wednesday night, Botafogo lost and Fluminense tied.
Botafogo’s struggles in the Brasileirão continued, with the club suffering a 1-0 loss to Cruzeiro. This was only Cruzeiro’s first victory of the 2016 season highlighted by a counter attack goal from Elber. With the loss, Botafogo dropped to the fifteenth position in the standings.
In a game that may have damaged both teams chances for the G-4 (the top four), Fluminense drew 1-1 with Atletico-MG in a game that also featured a reunion of two former World Cup teammates now on opposite sides, Robinho and Fred.
A late second half goal from Gustavo Scarpa helped secure the draw for Fluminense, who now find themselves sixth in the league standings, with Atletico-MG in eleventh place at the time of writing. The draw could have future negative implications for both clubs, as only the first four clubs (G-4) in this championship will go to next year’s Copa Libertadores da America.
In other Brasileirão action, perched atop the standings, Internacional barely held on to defeat Atlético Paranaense 1-0 at Estádio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre. Though the two teams entered Wednesday’s game with Internacional among the top teams in the Série A, and Atlético-Pr near the bottom, for most of the first half, one might have guessed the two teams were in opposite positions.
Near the end of the first half, Internacional finally broke through with an opportunistic goal off the foot of Vitinio. With a strong defensive effort in the second period, Internacional held on for the 1-0 win. With the victory on Wednesday, Internacional sits atop the Série A, for at least 24 hours. Grêmio, in second place at the time of writing, can assume the top spot with a win over Palmeiras on Thursday.
The Brasileirão Série A consists of the top twenty teams in the country competing in 38 rounds of games until a champion is crowned in December.