League-leading Flamengo draws 1-1 with Palmeiras in Brazilian soccer

    14 de junio de 2018

    Sao Paulo, Jun 14 (efe-epa).- First-placed Flamengo secured a 1-1 away draw against Palmeiras and currently has a four-point lead in the Brazilian-league standings over Atletico Mineiro and Sao Paulo heading into a long break.

    There will now be a four-week pause in the 2018 Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A because of the World Cup, which gets under way in Russia on Thursday.

    Veteran forward Willian opened the scoring for Palmeiras in the sixth minute of Wednesday night's match at Allianz Parque Stadium in Sao Paulo when he tapped home a headed pass by midfielder Bruno Henrique.

    Attacking midfielder Dudu had set up the play with a cross to the far post from just outside the penalty box on the left side.

    The Rio club tried to get the equalizer by capitalizing on the pace of star teenager Vinicius Junior, who has been signed by Real Madrid and is expected to join the La Liga powerhouse next month, but the visitors were shut out in the first half.

    Palmeiras had several chances to stretch its lead at the start of the second half, but Flamengo goalkeeper Diego Alves intervened time and again to maintain the one-goal deficit.

    The equalizer came in the 55th minute on a corner kick, when defender Matheus Soares Thuler rose up over a Palmeiras player and delicately headed the ball just inside the right upright.

    The final minutes of the match saw loads of unsportsmanlike conduct, with three Flamengo players - Gustavo Cuellar, Jonas Gomes de Sousa and Henrique Dourado - and an equal number of Palmeiras players - Dudu, goalkeeper Jailson Marcelino dos Santos and defender Luan Garcia - being sent off.

    Prior to those expulsions, veteran Palmeiras midfielder Felipe Melo had picked up a yellow card for a hard challenge on Vinicius Junior.

    The hard feelings even carried over into the tunnel leading to the dressing rooms, although the situation was eventually brought under control.

    With the draw, Palmeiras (19 points) is currently in sixth place and eight points behind Flamengo with 12 weeks of the 38-week Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A season completed.