Elano strike lifts Gremio to fourth

Rio de Janeiro, June 6 (IANS) Former Manchester City midfielder Elano scored with a second-half free-kick as Gremio moved to fourth in Brazil’s Serie A football championship with a 1-0 victory over Victoria.

The 31-year-old broke the deadlock Wednesday — just minutes after being introduced by coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo — with a curling 25-metre shot into the top corner in Porto Alegre, reports Xinhua.

“Irrespective of how many minutes I play, I want to help the team,” Elano said after the match. “The goal is the fruit of hard work. I don’t want to cause controversy and will do as the coach asks of me.”

The result lifts Gremio to seven points from three matches with a game in hand over top three Cruzeiro, Sao Paulo, Vitoria.

Meanwhile, Clarence Seedorf’s Botafogo lost their first match of the season, falling 1-2 to Bahia, while Sao Paulo suffered a shock 0-1 home defeat to Goias. Rio de Janeiro giants Flamengo slipped to second last in the standings with a 0-1 loss to Nautico.

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