SAO PAULO (AP)—Fluminense won the Guanabara Cup on Sunday by beating Vasco daGama 3-1 after striker Fred’s double and another goal from former Chelseaplaymaker Deco.
In the Sao Paulo state championship, Argentina striker Hernan Barcos scoredtwice as Palmeiras drew Sao Paulo 3-3 in a thriller.
The Guanabara Cup is the first stage of the Rio de Janeiro statechampionship and Fluminense will play for the title against the winner of theRio Cup, which begins next week.
Fluminense hadn’t won the Guanabara Cup since 1993, and it will try to winthe state title for the first time since 2005.
Former Brazil striker Fred opened the scoring by converting a penalty in the37th minute after Wellington Nem had been fouled inside the area.
Former Portugal star Deco increased the lead in the 43rd with a long-rangecurling cross that went into the net, and Fred found the net again in the 57thwith a right-footed shot from inside the area.
Vasco scored through Eduardo Costa in the 83rd but the result snapped itseight-match winning streak to start the season.
“this team deserved this title,” Fred said. “we were under a lot ofpressure but we came through when we needed the most.”
Fred, who played at the 2006 World Cup, praised Deco’s performance.
“He makes a difference,” he said. “Every time we are in trouble he takesover.”
In the Sao Paulo tournament, Palmeiras played well but three times allowedSao Paulo to equalize.
Former CSKA midfielder Daniel Carvalho scored for Palmeiras six minutes intothe match in Presidente Prudente, while Barcos scored in the 38th and 72ndminutes. Sao Paulo scored through Cicero in the 30th, Willian Jose in the 55thand Fernandinho in the 76th.
Barcos has scored four goals in his four starts with Palmeiras.
Sao Paulo played without former Brazil striker Luis Fabiano because of amuscle injury, while Luiz Felipe Scolari’s Palmeiras couldn’t count on Chileanplaymaker Jorge Valdivia, also because of a muscle injury.
Palmeiras announced Sunday it is close to signing Werder Bremen midfielderWesley, and said fans will be able to help the team gather the funds needed topay for the player by making donations of at least $60 to the club. Playersentered the field on Sunday holding a banner asking fans to help raise the $12.2million needed to pay for the Brazilian midfielder.
On Saturday, Former Brazil striker Adriano helped Corinthians retain thelead atop the 20-team standings by scoring in the 1-0 victory over Botafogo atPacaembu stadium.
It was the first goal of the season for Adriano, who was playing his secondmatch after being locked up in the team’s hotel to lose weight.
Corinthians has four points more than Guarani and Palmeiras. Santos isfourth and Sao Paulo fifth. the top eight teams will advance to the playoffround of the Sao Paulo state championship.
In Barueri, Brazil forward Neymar scored in the 28th and 78th minutes forSantos in a match in which Ponte Preta had three players sent off in the secondhalf. Playmaker Paulo Henrique Ganso also scored a goal and defender Edu Dracenaadded two.
Brazil doesn’t follow the European football calendar. Regional championshipsare played across the country in the beginning of the year and the Brazilianleague starts only in May.
Follow Tales Azzoni at twitter.com/tazzoni