Cruzeiro

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Cruzeiro relegated from Brazilian top flight for first time

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Brazilian side Cruzeiro was relegated from the top flight for the first time in the club’s 98-year history following a 2-0 defeat to Palmeiras on the final day of the season.

Cruzeiro required victory and a loss by Ceara at Botafogo to stay safely in the Brazilian Serie A, but neither came to pass.

Palmeiras midfielder Ze Rafael scored in the 58th minute to send the visitors on their way, with fellow midfielder Dudu finished things off in the 84th minute. Referees ushered the players off the field immediately after the conclusion of the match as Cruzeiro fans rioted in the Mineirao stadium, ripping out seats, setting off smoke bombs, and clashing with police.

Cruzeiro finished 17th in the 20-team table, three points back of Ceara in 16th. In the Brazilian top flight, the bottom four teams are relegated. CSA, Chapecoense, and Avai were also relegated. Cruzeiro had won the Brazilian Serie A as recently as 2013 and 2014, winning four titles in its history. They also have six Copa do Brasil titles, most recently winning the league cup in 2017 and 2018.

Flamengo ran away with the championship, finishing on 90 points, 16 points clear of second-placed Santos and third-placed Palmeiras who both finished level on 74 points. Palmeiras had challenged for the title, but fell off at the end of the season with a five-match winless run through November.

Four coaches fired in Brazilian league in 24 hours

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SAO PAULO (AP) Four coaches in Brazil’s top flight have been fired in a 24-hour span due to bad results in recent weeks.

Fluminense’s Oswaldo de Oliveira was fired Friday after insulting his club’s fans after a 1-1 draw with Santos at the Maracana stadium. During that Thursday night game, Fluminense fans chanted the name of coach Cuca, who had left Sao Paulo FC hours earlier, apparently wanting him to replace Oliveira.

Sao Paulo, meanwhile, hired Fernando Diniz as Cuca’s replacement despite the club’s fans having called for Rogerio Ceni, who also lost his job at Cruzeiro on Thursday evening.

Ceni, who recently started a coaching career after spending two decades as Sao Paulo’s goalkeeper, is reportedly returning to Fortaleza, which fired coach Ze Ricardo on Thursday.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Must See Golazo: Cruzeiro’s Everton Ribeiro

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Nothing better than a golazo video during the lunch break.

This one comes from 24 year old Everton Ribeiro of Cruzeiro, who blazes down the right side of the pitch, works a clever one-two with his teammate before flicking the ball over a helpless Flamengo defender and smashing it into the top corner.

The goal handed Cruzeiro a crucial 2-1 victory over Flamengo during the first leg of the Copa Brazil on Wednesday.

Willian opened the scoring for Cruzeiro in the first half before Ribeiro’s 51st minute masterpiece sealed the deal.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P41jwxpcK0A&w=420&h=315]