Grêmio 4-3 Santos (Copa do Brasil)
Last night's game in Porto Alegre saw the Tricolor gaúcho mount an incredible comeback to beat favourites Santos. The first period was dominated by the Peixe, who took the lead after 15 minutes; André finding space to head in Marquinhos' corner at the far post. Their advantage was doubled just minutes later, when André smartly beat Victor after a through-ball from the excellent Paulo Henrique. Grêmio had a golden opportunity to pull one back before the break, but Jonas saw his dire penalty saved by Felipe.
The home side were surely fearing a hiding, but reacted magnificently in the second half. Their first came when a tackle on Douglas fell kindly to Borges, who could hardly miss. The equaliser arrived soon after; Santos' Rodrigo Mancha dallied in midfield, and was robbed by Douglas, who slipped in Jonas on the right. The striker unselfishly crossed, and Borges stole in with this second. Jonas then ensured that his profligacy from the spot was well and truly forgotten, drilling in a shot from 25-yards. Golaço! Grêmio's red-hot spell was capped with a fourth goal in 18 minutes; Borges beating the offside trap and curling home for his hat-trick.
Having let slip a strong position, Santos could have been forgiven for resorting to damage limitation, but in fact it was they who had the last word. Paulo Henrique lofted a glorious pass to Robinho, who controlled on his chest before blasting into the roof of the net. It was a stunning goal to round off a thrilling game, and it puts Santos back in pole position before the return leg next week.
Atlético-GO 1-0 Vitória (Copa do Brasil)
Atlético Goianiense continued to confound their doubters with a battling 1-0 win at the Serra Dourada. Neither they nor Vitória have ever appeared in a final of the cup, and nerves may have played a factor in a stuttering game. It was the minnows, however, who gained the advantage, when Rodrigo Tiuí volleyed in, via both the post and bar. The Leão must come from behind in the second leg.
Cruzeiro 0-2 São Paulo (Libertadores)
The first leg of the all-Brazilian quarter-final of the Libertadores saw in-form Cruzeiro lose to São Paulo. Nippy striker Dagoberto opened the scoring; tapping home after Marlos and Fernandão had combined on the right. Cruzeiro failed to show much cutting edge, and were left with it all to do at the Morumbi next week when the Tricolor got their second after 65 minutes. Dagoberto wriggled free on the left and passed infield, where the ball broke to Fernandão. The new signing found Hernanes with a back-heel, and the midfielder made no mistake, drilling expertly into the corner.
Flamengo 2-3 Universidad de Chile (Libertadores)
A poor performance by the Rubro-Negro at the Maracanã was punished by their Chilean opponents, who will fancy their chances of a semi-final berth. La U took the lead after just 4 minutes, when Victorino profited from some sloppy defending. Olarra made it two; outjumping Bruno to head home a free-kick. Fla pulled one back before half time, when Adriano met Kléberson's cross with a powerful header. After the break, it was Universidad who restored their two-goal advantage when Fernández reacted quicker than Juan to score at the far post. The Flamengo left-back made amends when his deflected long-range shot snuck past Miguel Pinto in the Universidad goal. This late lifeline gives Flamengo hope in the second leg, but they will have to improve vastly upon this showing to have a chance of progressing.
* * * Thursday Update * * *
Internacional 1-0 Estudiantes (Libertadores)
The fourth of the Libertadores quarter-final first legs took place at the Beira-Rio on Thursday evening, with Inter playing host to holders Estudiantes. The visitors' star man Juan Sebastián Verón bossed the first half, earning substantial praise from today's Brazilian media, but it was the Colorado who got their noses in front. Ex-Crystal Palace defender Gonzalo Sorondo netted with a diving header in the final minutes, following a typically accurate free-kick from Andrezinho. The tie is set up for an intriguing second leg.
(Photo credits; (1) Gremio.net, (2) Unknown, (3) EFE.)