Brazil Serie A wrap: Atletico Mineiro edge Botafogo in thriller
By Football News
Atletico Mineiro sealed an immediate birth into next season's Copa Libertadores thanks to a pulsating 3-2 win over Botafogo on Sunday.
In a game which saw both sides finish with 10 men, Mineiro got off to the better start with Bernard putting his side ahead after 15 minutes.
Roared on by their supporters, Botafogo stormed into the lead 15 minutes later thanks to two quick-fire goals. Antonio Carlos got his side on the board in the 28th minute before Elkeson struck two minutes later to ensure the hosts went into the break with a 2-1 lead.
Mineiro's task was made all the more difficult after Junior Cesar was sent off the in the 67th minute for a second bookable offence but Cuca's side continued to press for the equaliser which came in the 83rd minute through Richarlyson.
Botafogo defender Lucas was then given a straight red with two minutes remaining and Mineiro took full advantage, scoring one minute later through Rever to seal a memorable win.
Elsewhere, second-placed Gremio overcame a second-half Figueirense fightback to win 4-2 at the Estadio Orlando Scarpelli.
First-half goals from Elano, Ze Roberto and Souza looked to have wrapped up a comfortable win for the away side before two goals in four minutes from Figueirense striker Aloisio put his side right back in the game.
Gremio would have the final say however with Leandro extinguishing any chance of a comeback in the 71st minute.
Newly-crowned champions Fluminense were held to a surprising 1-1 draw with relegation threatened Sporting Recife.
Former Lyon striker Fred scored his 19th Serie A goal of the year midway through the first half to put Flu ahead before Felipe Azevedo restored parity in first-half stoppage time with neither side able to add to the score line in the second half.
In the day's other games, relegation battlers Portuguesa recorded a vital 2-0 win over Internacional, Atletico GO were 2-1 victors over Palmeiras, Cruzeiro defeated Coritiba 2-1 while Sao Paulo were held to a 0-0 by Ponte Preta and Bahia drew 1-1 with Nautico.