Corinthians beat Santos to win Campeonato Paulista

Rio de Janeiro, May 20 (IANS) Corinthians won their 27th Campeonato Paulista title after a 1-1 draw in the second leg of the final against Santos.

The result at the Vila Belmiro stadium Sunday gave the reigning FIFA Club World Cup champions a 3-2 aggregate victory, reports Xinhua.

Cicero scored the opener for Santos just before the half-hour with a stunning left-foot volley before Danilo equalised two minutes later with a powerful shot after Paulinho’s effort was kept out by goalkeeper Rafael.

“Whether we were going to win or lose here, we knew that we had to come out playing with the same determination as before,” Corinthians coach Tite said. “We were still motivated and it showed.”

Striker Alexandre Pato, who joined Corinthians from AC Milan in January, missed an opportunity to score in second-half injury time when, with only Rafael to beat, he fired his shot wide.

But the 23-year-old said he was enjoying his football again after his final two seasons at the San Siro were blighted by injury.

“It’s nice to celebrate a title for the first time since returning to Brazilian football,” Pato said.

Also Sunday, two-time FIFA player of the year Ronaldinho converted a 78th-minute penalty to hand Altetico Mineiro a 4-2 aggregate victory in the Campeonato Mineiro final against Cruzeiro.

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