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Brazil Serie A Wrap: Cruzeiro impress, Neymar bids farewell

Cruzeiro have stormed to the top of the Brazil Serie A with a 5-0 thrashing of Goias, while Neymar said goodbye to Santos in a scoreless draw.

In the opening round of the Serie A season, Neymar played his last match before his move to Barcelona, completing 90 minutes for Santos in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia as his team drew 0-0 with Flamengo.

Neymar shed some tears before Sunday’s match as the national anthem was played at the Brazilian capital’s new venue for next year’s World Cup – the Mane Garrincha National Stadium – but the 21-year-old striker could not inspire Santos to one last victory.

In Belo Horizonte, new signing Nilton scored either side of half-time as Cruzeiro crushed Goias to top the Serie A standings on goal difference ahead of Criciuma, Gremio and Sao Paulo.

Cruzeiro opened the scoring in the sixth minute at the Estadio Raimundo Sampaio when Diego Souza stabbed a loose ball home following a free-kick.

Just after the half-hour mark Bruno Rodrigo doubled the hosts’ lead with a powerful header from Dagoberto’s corner.

Another corner from Dagoberto set up Cruzeiro’s third goal in the 40th minute with Nilton providing the header to nod the ball past Goias’ goalkeeper Harlei, while three minutes later Borges made it 4-0 with a low drive from the edge of the penalty box.

Cruzeiro continued to dominate after half-time but had to wait until the 80th minute to notch another goal with Nilton heading home Lucca’s corner.

Newly promoted Criciuma started their Serie A campaign with a 3-1 win over Bahia, while Gremio defeated Nautico 2-0 and Sao Paulo won by the same margin over Ponte Preta.

Reigning champions Fluminense kicked off their campaign with a 2-1 victory against Atletico Paranaense, while Vasco da Gama defeated Portuguesa 1-0 and Corinthians drew 1-1 with Botafogo.

In other results in Brazil’s top flight, Vitoria drew 2-2 with Internacional and Coritiba defeated Atletico Mineiro 2-1.

Mon 27 May, 2013
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