9 dez 2001 - 20h10

Leia matéria da Agência Reuters sobre o Atlético

A campanha do Atlético neste Campeonato Brasileiro está ultrapassando fronteiras. A classificação para a final foi tema para uma reportagem da prestigiada Agência Reuters, que abastece os principais veículos de comunicação do mundo.

A Furacao.com reproduz o texto de Brian Homewood na íntegra:

Atletico Paranaense reach first Brazil final

RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec 9 (Reuters) – Atletico Paranaense reached the Brazilian championship final for the first time on Sunday, beating Fluminense 3-2 thanks to a hat-trick from striker Alex Mineiro.

They will face Sao Caetano, who overcame Atletico Mineiro 2-1 on a waterlogged pitch with Atletico officials asking for the game suspended.

Atletico Paranaense, who had home advantage and needed only to draw thanks to their better overall record in the championship, fell behind just before halftime to a Magno Alves goal in their semifinal.

The game changed dramatically after the break when Mineiro equalised in the 50th minute and scored again 10 minutes later.

Fluminense, who were in the third division only three seasons ago, equalised through Magno Alves’ second goal in the 75th minute, only for Mineiro to strike again two minutes from time.

Unlucky Fluminense coach Oswaldo Olveira was denied an appearance in the final for the second time in a row.

Last year, he succeeded in taking Vasco da Gama to the final, only to be sacked by president Eurico Miranda for hugging rival coach Luiz Felipe Scolari of Cruzeiro before their semifinal tie.

Atletico Paranaense had been criticised for violent play in Wednesday’s quarter-final tie with Sao Paulo but referee Paulo Cesar Oliveira stamped his authority by showing yellow cards early in the game and there was no real trouble.

Fluminense midfielder Roger, who said beforehand that he was worried about possible violence from his opponents, was himself sent off in stoppage time for a second bookable offence.

Veteran midfielder Valdo, who played for Brazil at the 1990 World Cup, gave Atletico Mineiro an early lead in the other semifinal but two headers from Magrao sent Sao Caetano to their second successive final.

Most of the game was played in a torrential downpour and Atletico Mineiro coach Levir Culpi appealed for the game to be abandoned as the ball repeatedly stuck in pools of water.

Atletico, who won the inaugural Brazilian championship in 1971, sank to their 10th defeat in 14 semifinals.

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