Corinthians beat Ponte Preta 3-1

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:53 IST

Two late goals from substitute Coelho and Carlos Alberto have given Brazilian league leaders Corinthians a 3-1 victory over Ponte Preta.

Corinthians beat Ponte Preta 3-1

Sao Paulo:

Two late goals from substitute Coelho and Carlos Alberto have given Brazilian league leaders Corinthians a 3-1 victory over Ponte Preta.The Morumbi stadium was no place for the faint-hearted as Corinthians entertained relegation threatened Ponte Preta in the penultimate round of matches in the Campeonato Brasileiro. Corinthians got off to the worst possible start when defender Gustaveo Nery put through his own net from a free kick by Ponte Preta's Elson in the 17th minute. However, twenty minutes later he took advantage of some hesitant Ponte Preta defending and hacking in from close range at the other end, sending the game into the break at 1-1. Growing desperationCorinthians had much the better of the second half, but in front of goal they became increasingly desperate. It seemed that they were thrown a lifeline when Carlos Alberto was upended by Ponte Preta midfielder Andre Silva in the 62nd minute and referee Elvecio Zequetto pointed to the spot. Corinthians' top scorer this season, Carlitos Tevez, stepped up to take the spot kick, but shot high and wide. News filtered through that Internacional were themselves drawing 1-1 at home to Palmeiras. When second half substitute Coelho thundered in a free kick with just three minutes left, it seemed that the title would come back to Corinthians for the first time since 1999. Little chancePonte Preta goalkeeper Lauro was given little chance as the ball swerved around his defensive wall. The officials signalled four minutes of stoppage time and with seconds left Carlos Alberto tried his luck from distance and made the game safe at 3-1. The stadium erupted and Corinthians coach Antonio Lopes screamed at the referee to bring the game to an end, but when he did, it soon became clear that Inter had scored a late winner of their own. With both sides taking three points, the title race remains up for grabs.Inter trail by three points, but if they win next week and Corinthians lose, they could still claim the championship. (AP)



Topics : Football
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