For the first time in 17 years, Flamengo lifted the Brasileiro championship trophy with a 2-1 final match-day victory over Gremio in front of a packed Maracana. It was the team’s sixth title, but first since 1992 for Brazil’s most popular club. On a dramatic day, Gremio opened the scoring and in the process helped Porto Alegre rival Internacional championship hopes. It wasn’t until the 69th minute that Flamengo defender Angelim provided the goal that made Flamengo champions.
Flamengo finished with 67 points, edging out Internacional which finished second on 65. Sao Paulo was third, also with 65 points and Cruzeiro was fourth to grab the last spot in next year’s Copa Libertadores, Latin America’s most important competition. Palmeiras finished fifth. It was a great day for Rio futebol as Botafogo and Fluminense both avoided relegation on the last day of the season. Botafogo beat Palmeiras 2-1 and Fluminense drew 1-1 away at Coritiba, which was demoted to the second division instead. Fluminense completed a miraculous great escape, unbeaten in the last 11 matches. Coritiba fans, doomed to the second division for the club’s centenary, rioted at the end of the match.
Flamengo took over the Brasileiro lead for the first time in the next-to-last round after a 2-0 win over Corinthians last week. It was a dream ending in front of their own fans. The team’s other titles were in 1980, 1982, 1983, 1987 and 1992.