Sao Paulo, Noroeste draw 1-1

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Sao Paulo remain second in Brazil's Paulista Championship standings following a 1-1 draw with fourth placed visitors Noroeste on Saturday.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:38 IST
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Sao Paulo, Brazil:

Sao Paulo remain second in Brazil's Paulista Championship standings, one point behind leaders Santos, following a 1-1 draw with fourth placed visitors Noroeste on Saturday. Thiago opened the scoring for the home side in the 56th minute, but an equaliser from Leandrinho eight minutes later ensured the points were shared. Just three points separated the two teams and spectators were expecting an exciting encounter. Tight defence Good chances were few and far between in the first half as both sides defended tightly. The home side were pressing forward though and in the fourth minute Alex Dias had not one but two chances to put his side ahead. But Noroeste goalkeeper Mauro was able to save both shots from close range. Four minutes from the end of the first half the visitors created their best chance of the opening period. Leandrinho struck from just inside the penalty area, and although his shot was on target, he was denied the goal by a great save from Rogerio Ceni. Second half Goalless at the break, both sides came out fighting in the second half. Four minutes after the restart a great long range strike from Richarlyson sailed towards the net. However, Noroeste 'keeper Mauro just got a hand to the ball and deflected the shot away to safety. Seven minutes later the home side finally took the lead courtesy of a goal from Thiago. Ceni came forward in an attempt to block the shot, but there was little that he could do as the ball deflected off his body and into the back of the net. But Noroeste were back on level terms just eight minutes later. Leandrinho picked up a great pass from the halfway line and surged forward. His first shot hit Mauro in goal, but the ball deflected back into his path and a second effort resulted in the equaliser. One minute later the Noroeste almost took the lead for the first time, although the shot from substitute Otacilio went just wide of the far post. Sao Paulo tried in vain to get the winner. With around 13 minutes remaining Danilo tried his luck, only to be denied by a great left-hand save from Mauro. At the final whistle it was 1-1, a result that keeps Sao Paulo and Noroeste in second and fourth place respectively. (AP)

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