Sao Paulo, May 13 (IANS) Brazil midfielder Paulinho and defender Paulo Andre struck either side of half-time as Corinthians defeated Santos 2-1 in the first leg of the Campeonato Paulista final.
Paulinho opened the scoring Sunday on the stroke of half-time at the Pacaembu Stadium by firing in a low shot from just outside the six-yard box after Danilo’s sliding assist from a Romarinho free-kick, reports Xinhua.
Andre doubled the lead in the 74th minute with a first-time strike into the top corner after Santos’ defence failed to clear an Emerson corner-kick. Durval scored a vital away goal for Santos with a searing 82nd-minute header after Felipe Anderson’s in-swinging free-kick.
“Santos weren’t able to neutralise us during the first half. Our movement was intense and they found it too difficult to mark us,” Corinthians coach Tite said.
The deciding return leg will be played at Santos Vila Belmiro Stadium next Sunday.