RIO DE JANEIRO - Corinthians striker Ronaldo had to be content with a supporting role as his side beat Santos 1-0 in a Paulista championship match marred by crowd trouble on Sunday. There was unrest on the field in Rio de Janeiro where five players were sent off in Vasco da Gama's 2-0 win over arch-rivals Flamengo at the Maracana. Ronaldo had scored in last previous two outings for Corinthians but this time, strike partner Dentinho stole the show when he lost his marker to meet Douglas's long cross with a powerful header in the 15th minute. The match had been billed as a clash between former Barcelona, Real Madrid, Inter Milan and AC Milan striker Ronaldo and Santos' 17-year-old prodigy Neymar, but neither had an outstanding game. Neymar, who had scored in two of his four appearances and is already being compared to former Santos forward Robinho, was taken off midway through the second half. "It's very good to win," said Ronaldo. "It was his (Dentinho's) time to score a goal. It was an important and decisive one." At the end of the game, Santos supporters fought with police who tried to stop them throwing missiles at Corinthians fans on the other side of a fence. Television pictures showed police lashing out with truncheons while groups of fans attempted to attack individual officers. OBJECTS THROWN The fans were driven back into a corner of the terraces after reinforcements arrived. Media reports said there was also trouble involving Santos directors in the VIP box. "Objects were thrown at us. Somebody threw some back, I didn't see who it was, it wasn't me," said Santos president Marcelo Teixeira. Corinthians, unbeaten in the tournament, are second with 33 points from 15 games, four behind leaders Palmeiras. The top four qualify for the semi-finals. Santos are fifth. Elton and Jefferson scored early in each half as Vasco beat Flamengo in the Carioca championship, where the goals were outnumbered by red cards. Flamengo midfielder Willians was sent off in the 16th minute after being booked twice in as many minutes and Vasco's Carlos Alberto followed moments after the half hour mark when he was given a second yellow card for kicking the ball away. Flamengo's Leo Moura was given a straight red for a foul in the 53rd minute and Vasco's Ramon followed before the hour for a second bookable offence. Vasco finished with eight men when defender Titi was dismissed in stoppage time. Flamengo coach Cuca was also dismissed.
23 March 2009
Get FourFourTwo interviews, features and fun in your inbox every week. For free!
Thank you for registering for our Newsletter
We will send regular updates on the ongoing FourFourTwo updates to the email address you have supplied.