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State Championship Updates from Brazil

February 19, 2012

February 19th, 2012

Tranquility is not a word readily associated with the Bahia clássico, but this Sunday’s Ba-Vi was a little different.

After a recent police strike that left 150 dead in ten days on Salvador’s streets, this week’s game had been christened the Clássico da Paz. It has been a troubled time for the city, and its football teams – without policing, recent Bahia and Vitória games had come close to being cancelled, only taking place with the help of the presence of the army.


The players, at least, did their part to calm any tension, serving up fairly soporific fare in the first head-to-head clash between técnicos, and midfield partners from that wonderful Brazil 1982 side, Toninho Cerezo and Paulo Roberto Falcão. The result will be slightly more welcomed by Bahia, in second, than Vitória, down in fourth spot, but most of all by leaders and defending champions Bahia de Feira, four points clear at the top. Bahia’s young striker Gabriel and zagueiro Donato were probably the standouts on the pitch. Best of all, there were no major disturbances among the 30,000 strong crowd.

It was a fairly humdrum round of fixtures in Pernambuco, with wins for the Recife big three of Santa Cruz, Náutico and Sport, and a draw for leaders Salgueiro. There was a definite feeling of aperitif about proceedings, with the real Medici wedding banquet coming on Thursday with the Clássico Das Multidoes between Santa and Sport. The biggest crowd in Brazil this year will watch it – 55,000 tickets are on sale, despite the game being live on TV, and carnaval (something of a big deal in these parts) being mere days away. Much will depend on the clash between two occasionally troubled veteran strikers – Sport’s Marcelinho Paraiba and Santa’s Denis Marques.

It was also standing room only on Sunday in Fortaleza, where the Cearense clássico took place at Presidente Vargas. The game lived up to its billing – Ceará led through a Felipe Azevedo penalty until the very end, when first Ciro (89 mins), then Kauê, with a superb free kick deep into injury time, scored for rivals Fortaleza. The result ended Ceará’s unbeaten run in this year’s competition, and meant Fortaleza took over as leaders.

There was a distinctly wild west feel to events in the Campeonato Paraense, where Águia de Marabá eliminated one of the state’s Big Two, Remo, in the semi-finals. It was a particularly heavy blow to take for Remo left back Aldivan, who was clobbered with a metal camera stand by Águia’s Alexandre Carioca as a mass brawl interrupted the game for 20 minutes. Remo will now join their Belém rivals Paysandu watching from the sofa as Águia take on Cametá in the first “turn” final.

Goiás lost their first of the year in the Campeonato Goiano, surprisingly going down to Goianésia, but remain clear at the top, while Vila Nova’s woes continue. The Time do Povo in Goiânia, who were relegated from Serie B in last year’s Brasileirão, lost again, this time to Atlético, and currently sit in a miserable 8th spot, only two off the bottom.

In the Sul, Figueirense defeated Avaí 1-0 in the Catarinense clássico, spoiling former Atlético Madrid man Cleber Santana’s debut for Avaí. The surprising Chapecoense continue in top spot.




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