17 August 2012 05:34
The return of Neymar and Ganso paid instant dividends as Santos won 3-1 over Figueirense in Brazil’s Serie A.
In their first match after returning from Brazil’s Olympic campaign, Neymar and Ganso each scored a goal as Santos came from behind to win.
Thursday’s match started in strange circumstances as first Santos defender Juan and then Figueirense midfielder Tulio were sent off with straight red cards.
But with the first half ending goalless, Figueirense took the lead three minutes after the break when striker Aloisio turned inside the penalty area, before floating a cross to the back post, which Fernandes powered past Santos’ goalkeeper Rafael Cabral.
The visitors hit back almost immediately, however, as Neymar collected a throw in, skipped past two defenders and curled his shot inside the far post in the 51st minute.
In the 77th minute, Bruno Peres gave Santos the lead before Ganso completed the win with a goal five minutes from the end.
Neymar set up the goal after he beat Figueirense’s offside trap, squaring the ball to Ganso for a simple tap-in.
Thursday’s win is only Santos’ fourth of the season as they sit 14th in the standings, while Figueirense are bottom of the league.
Vasco da Gama, who are third, missed the chance to go second on the table with a 2-2 draw with Coritiba.
Junior Urso scored the opener for visiting Coritiba in the 22nd minute.
But after Felipe equalised for Vasco four minutes into the second half, the home side looked to have won the game when Wendel made it 2-1 in the 88th minute.
However, Coritiba stole a draw with a 90th-minute goal from Everton Ribeiro.
In the other match on Thursday, a towering header by Paulo Andre in the 68th minute clinched a 1-0 victory for Corinthians over Internacional.