Palmeiras beats Marilia

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Washington netted a 75th-minute goal to help Palmeiras rally past Marilia 2-1 and earn the lead of the Sao Paulo state championship.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:39 IST
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Substitute striker Washington netted a 75th-minute goal to help Palmeiras rally past Marilia 2-1 and earn the lead of the Sao Paulo state championship on Sunday. Also, Fluminense scored three first-half goals to rout Portuguesa 4-0 in the first round of the Rio de Janeiro state tournament. Palmeiras, seeking its first regional title since 1996, scored twice in the second period at Bento de Abreu stadium in Marilia to pick up its second consecutive come-from-behind win. Palmeiras defeated Ituano 2-1 in its opener after trailing by a goal last Thursday. Palmeiras shares the lead of the 20-team standings with minnow Noroeste - a 3-2 winner over last-place America in Sao Jose do Rio Preto - with six points from two matches. Washington, who came in at halftime, netted the winner with a low shot from inside the area after a nice through pass from substitute midfielder Ricardinho. Defender Bruno put Marilia ahead from close range in the 44th, but defender Correa - who also entered at halftime - equalized with a well-struck free kick in the 66th, curling a right-footer over the wall and into the right upper corner. Palmeiras is one of the favorites to win the title this year. One of its top acquisitions in the offseason was veteran striker Edmundo, a member of Brazil's 1998 World Cup team. Also on Sunday, striker Nilmar scored three goals to lead defending Brazilian champion Corinthians over Portuguesa Santista 5-1 at Pacaembu stadium in Sao Paulo. Corinthians won despite playing without Argentine striker Carlos Tevez, who made a surprise trip to his home country just hours after Corinthians' opener last Wednesday. Corinthians officially said Tevez traveled to take care of personal problems, and that the trip had been scheduled for some time. But many players and some club directors were caught by surprise. Santos, which on Saturday released World Cup veterans Luizao and Giovanni, defeated Mogi Mirim 2-0 at Vila Belmiro stadium. Defending champion Sao Paulo debuts on Wednesday at Santo Andre. (AP)

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