Rio de Janeiro: Sao Paulo playing host to rivals Santos fought hard to win 3-2 in the 14th round of the Sao Paulo state championship here.
Sao Paulo scored the first half`s only goal in the 8th minute when Casemiro attempted a long range shot on goal. Santos defender Edu Dracena attempted to block the shot, but redirected the ball into the back of his own goal.
Returning in the second half, Santos tied the match Sunday in the 51st minute when Elano`s corner kick rolled loosely in front of the Sao Paulo goal until Edu fired the ball past keeper Denis.
Former Sevilla striker Luis Fabiano gave Sao Paulo the lead in the 64th minute from the penalty spot after he was hacked down by Santos keeper Rafael in front of the goal, Xinhua reported.
Santos tied the match once again in the 76th minute when Neymar dribbled past Sao Paulo`s keeper and lofted the ball towards the goal. The ball ricocheted off defender Piris and bounced off the right goalpost before crossing the goal line.
As the match was coming to an end, Cortez fired a shot on goal that deflected off the Sao Paulo goal and landed at the feet of Lucas. The striker calmly controlled the ball and fired it past Rafael in Santos goal in the 86th minute.
The result takes Sao Paulo into second place with 31 points while Santos remains in fourth place with 27 points. In the next round, Sao Paulo will travel to play Mirassol March 25 while Santos will receive Bragantino on the same day.
First Published: Monday, March 19, 2012, 18:18