Palmeiras beats rival Corinthians

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Defender Paulo Baier netted a first-half winner to lead Palmeiras over defending champion Corinthians 1-0 in the Brazilian league on Sunday.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:35 IST
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Defender Paulo Baier netted a first-half winner to lead Palmeiras over defending champion Corinthians 1-0 in the Brazilian league on Sunday. Also, Vasco beat rival Flamengo 1-0 in Rio de Janeiro, while Sao Paulo defeated Figueirense 2-1 on Saturday to jump into the lead of the 20-team standings. Paulo Baier put Palmeiras on the board in the 44th minute with a shot from near the penalty spot. He received a perfectly timed through ball from veteran striker Edmundo before sending a low shot past Corinthians goalkeeper Silvio Luiz. It was Palmeiras' second straight win, but only the third in 12 matches. The four-time champion remains in the relegation zone with 10 points, one more than second-to-last-place Corinthians, which has lost its last six matches. Palmeiras earned the win at Morumbi stadium in Sao Paulo despite losing veteran goalkeeper Marcos in the fifth minute because of a rib injury. The team's reserve goalkeeper, Sergio, also was injured, and third-stringer Diego was summoned to enter the match. Diego was crucial in stopping a close-range shot by Corinthians defender Gustavo Nery midway through the first half. Palmeiras hadn't beaten Corinthians since May 2004. Vasco, which fell 4-2 to Palmeiras on Wednesday, beat Flamengo 1-0 at Maracana stadium behind a 30th-minute goal by defender Paulao. It was Flamengo's second straight loss - and sixth overall. Vasco and Flamengo will meet again on Wednesday in the first leg of the Brazilian Cup final. Also on Sunday, Gremio netted twice in second-half injury time to draw Fluminense 4-4 at Olimpico stadium in Porto Alegre. Argentine striker German Herrera scored one of the goals for Gremio, which got off to 2-0 in the beginning of the match. Fluminense notched four unanswered goals, including two by Serbia international Dejan Petkovic, before allowing the late equalizers. Petkovic netted his first goal directly off a corner kick, curling the ball into the net, and his second with a booming shot from outside the area. Elsewhere, Sao Caetano defeated Santos 2-0 behind two penalties from defender Anderson Lima at Anacleto Campanella stadium in Sao Caetano do Sul, while Cruzeiro was held to 0-0 by Goias at Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte. Internacional lost 2-0 to rival Juventude in Caxias do Sul, missing a chance to get past first-place Sao Paulo in the standings. It has 24 points, two fewer than Sao Paulo and one fewer than Cruzeiro. Three-time champion Sao Paulo moved ahead in the standings on Saturday by defeating Figueirense 2-1 at Morumbi stadium. Former Real Betis striker Ricardo Oliveira scored two minutes into the match and defender Andre Dias netted the winner with a header in second-half injury time. Botafogo came from behind to rout Ponte Preta 4-1 in Rio de Janeiro. (AP)

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