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This blog reflects on soccer qua football all over the world. The blog has a specific investment in attractive, attacking football and, as such, focuses on Brazil, the most emphatic historical exponent of the beautiful game.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Corinthians regain lead from Fluminense as Ronaldo penalty sends Brazil Serie A battle down to the wire

Ronaldo scored a decisive penalty in the closing minutes of a hard fought match against Cruzeiro to give Corinthians a crucial victory as the battle for the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A goes down to the wire with three matches remaining. Since Ronaldo's return from injury, Corinthians have now won four matches and drawn two, a significant turnaround from a period when the Timao suffered a five match winless streak when their flagship striker, more commonly known as The Phenomenon, was sidelined because of injury. Ronaldo has now played six consecutive 90 minute matches and the Corinthians number 9 has vowed to play as much as possible in order to bring the title back to Corinthians in their centenary year. The match against Cruzeiro represented a hard fought victory for Corinthians as Cruzeiro squandered a number of high percentage chances on goal. Ronaldo himself had a number of chances including a blistering run from midfield that resulted in a left footed shot that sailed over the crossbar. The 89th minute penalty was awarded when Ronaldo suffered a blow from the back that left him face down in the box. Cruzeiro players protested the penalty vociferously and in the process, defender Gil earned a red card. Under pressure, Ronaldo maintained his tradition of successful penalty taking by sending the ball low into the corner to goalkeeper Fabio's left as he dove right.

Meanwhile, Fluminense drew 1-1 with Goias, and consequently relinquished the lead in Brazil's Serie A to Corinthians. Corinthians now have 63 points, Fluminense have 62 and Cruzeiro have 60, with 3 matches remaining. Highly familiar with titles going down to the wire, the experienced Ronaldo noted that, in the battle for Brazil's Serie A, "everything will be decided only on the last day."

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