Brazil Serie A Wrap: Botafogo,Vitoria share top with Sao Paulo
By Football News
Botafogo and Vitoria have joined Sao Paulo at the top of Brazil's Serie A with victories over Cruzeiro and Vasco da Gama respectively.
Vitoria, who were promoted from Serie B at the end of last season, continued their strong start in Brazil's top tier with a 2-0 win over Vasco, while Botafogo defeated Cruzeiro 2-0.
With Sao Paulo held to a scoreless draw at Atletico Mineiro on Sunday, Botafogo and Vitoria ended the third round alongside the Serie A-leaders on seven points.
Sao Paulo survived a red card to on-loan Arsenal midfielder Denilson around the hour mark to claim a 0-0 draw against Mineiro, extending the home side's winless streak in all competitions to five games.
Despite the draw, Sao Paulo remain top of the Serie A table due to their superior goal difference of plus six, while Vitoria (plus five) and Botafogo (plus two) complete the top three.
In Rio de Janeiro on Saturday, Botafogo's Nicolas Lodeiro scored twice for the home side as they saw off Cruzeiro.
It took just six minutes for Botafogo to hit the front with Vitinho bursting into the visitors' penalty area before unleashing a shot that Cruzeiro goalkeeper Fabio could only parry into the path of Lodeiro, and the Uruguayan midfielder duly thrashed the ball home.
Cruzeiro needed some luck to equalise in the 25th minute as Anselmo Ramon's shot ricocheted off a Botafogo defender and onto the post before hitting the hosts' goalkeeper and rolling into the net, but the home side claimed all three points thanks to a second-half penalty.
In the 57th minute, the referee pointed to the spot when Cruzeiro's Nilton was penalised for a collecting Lucas with a high boot and Lodeiro converted the penalty.
In Salvador, striker Dinei scored either side of half-time as Vitoria defeated Vasco, while in other games on Saturday, Atletico PR drew 2-2 with Flamengo, Santos were held to a 1-1 draw by Gremio, Corinthians won 1-0 over Ponte Preta and Goias' match against Coritiba ended in a 1-1 stalemate.
On Sunday, reigning champions Fluminense cruised to a 3-0 win over Criciuma, while Nautico drew 2-2 with Portuguesa and Bahia won 2-1 away to Internacional.