RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Ronaldinho scored a breathtaking individual goal for Atletico Mineiro in a stormy derby against Cruzeiro that produced three red cards and was interrupted as fans hurled debris on to the pitch.
The drama continued deep into injury time of Sunday’s game as Cruzeiro snatched a last-gasp equaliser to force a 2-2 draw in the Brazilian championship clash of the Belo Horizonte rivals.
Only fans of Cruzeiro, officially the home team, were allowed to watch the game at the Independencia stadium in an attempt to cut down violence and at halftime a Cruzeiro official displayed a banner urging fans not to throw objects onto the pitch.
But those measures had little effect as supporters hurled plastic water cups and other debris towards the referee who asked for police to escort him onto the field at the start of the second half.
That led to the first two red cards as Mineiro midfielder Bernard picked up one of the cups to hand to the referee and was pushed by Cruzeiro’s Leandro Guerreiro and both players were dismissed.
Play was interrupted for around 10 minutes.
Mineiro also had midfielder Pierre sent off for two yellow cards.
The first half had ended 1-1 with goals by Wallyson for Cruzeiro and Leonardo Silva for the Roosters.
Despite being a man down, Mineiro went ahead when Ronaldinho collected the ball in his own half, ran half the length of the field, dribbled past three opponents and tucked the ball into the corner of the net.
But the Foxes had the last laugh when defender Mateus equalised from a cross by Argentine playmaker Walter Montillo.
The result was enough to keep Mineiro top of the table with 43 points from 18 games, one ahead of Fluminense.
Brazil’s 2010 World Cup striker Luis Fabiano scored twice to give Sao Paulo a 2-1 win over South American champions Corinthians, who had taken an early lead through Emerson.
Former Real Madrid and Brazil coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo’s Gremio won 1-0 away to neighbours Internacional in the Porto Alegre derby with a goal by midfielder Elano.
(Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)
- Liberian hitman’s solo effort helps Terengganu edge KL
- Party boys Mineiro extend lead in Brazil
- Fred gives Fluminense boost in anniversary derby win over Flamengo
- Ukraine suffer stormy defeat by France
- Late goals give 10-man Brazil 2-1 away win over Mexico