Weekly World Soccer Review
It was a big weekend in Brazil being the sharp end of the respective state championships while there was action aplenty at the league summit elsewhere across the globe. The pace-setters remained firm in USA but there is much jostling for positions at the top in Japan and China. Meanwhile the big game of the year in Egypt took place, as FIFA.com also rounds up the latest highlights from five continents.
Brazilian state championships: Botafogo end drought
Botafogo secured Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro state title by defeating rivals Flamengo 2-1 in the final of the Rio Cup with goals by Argentina striker German Herrera and Uruguay forward Sebastian Abreu. Botafogo had already won the Guanabara Cup, the first stage of the Rio competition, and automatically clinched the overall title by winning the Rio Cup, the second stage. Joel Santana’s team winning its first state title for four years ended a run of three consecutive runners-up finishes to Fla in the Rio championship and becoming the first club to do the double since Vasco da Gama in 1998. In the Sao Paulo state tournament, Neymar scored twice to help Santos beat Sao Paulo 3-0 and advance to the final.
Big game: In the Rio Grande do Sul state championship, Argentine midfielder Andres D’Alessandro scored a late goal to give Internacional a 3-2 win over Pelotas and the title in the competition’s second stage. Inter, led by Uruguay coach Jorge Fossati, will now play in the state final against rival Gremio, the first stage’s winner.
Headline grabber: Enigmatic 18-year-old Neymar continued his impressive form with a brace to help his Santos side into the final against Santo Andre. Neymar opened the scoring from close range in the 59th minute and then added a penalty seven minutes from time.
Major League Soccer: Buddle and LA Galaxy continue bright start
Los Angeles Galaxy again rode the form of young forward Edson Buddle to a 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake, the team that beat them for the MLS Cup last season. Buddle scored both goals in the win and has now tallied seven goals in just four matches, to lead the Galaxy to the league’s only perfect record. On the opposite coast, DC United are in crisis mode after losing to Chicago 2-0 to open the season with four defeats. READ MORE HERE.