Atletico Mineiro beat Vasco da Gama

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Atletico Mineiro stayed on course for a place in the Copa Libertadores after beating 10-man Vasco da Gama 2-1 in the Brazilian Championship on Sunday.

Updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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Belo Horizonte:

Atletico Mineiro, fresh from their 1-0 win at Fluminense last week which took them up to sixth in the Campeonato Brasileiro (Brazilian Championship), played hosts to lowly Vasco da Gama on Sunday. Mineiro, hoping for a top five finish to qualify for the Copa Libertadores, broke the deadlock in the 18th minute. Alex Alves eluded his marker to head Mineiro into the lead, meeting a well flighted cross by Cicinho. Vasco came under increasing pressure after going a goal behind. In the 25th minute, goalkeeper Fabio prevented a second goal when he dived at full stretch to turn a long range shot from Lucio Flavio onto the post. Atletico struck early in the second half to put themselves in a strong position. Fabio Junior collected a chip over the top of the Vasco defence and showed great calm in slotting the ball into the net. Vasco began to come into the game after falling 2-0 down. They wasted two good chances before substitute Allan struck the bar in the 64th minute. Two minutes later Vasco's cause was further hindered when they lost central defender Fabiano, who was shown a straight red card for a foul on Juninho. The ten men of Vasco da Gama were given a chance to pull a goal back when Beto was bundled over in the area by Marquinhos and Vasco were awarded a penalty. Substitute Rodrigo Souto stepped up to give his side hope with a successful spot kick on 78 minutes. In the final minute Atletico might well have scored have scored a third goal, but once more the frame of the goal saved Vasco. Helcio's shot his the post and the hosts emerged 2-1 winners. (AP)

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