Romario and Juninho share Vasco spoils

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The Independent Online



Romario, who sat out his club's opening eight games of the Brazilian season when Vasco da Gama gave him an extended holiday, made a belated but dramatic impact at the weekend.

The 35-year-old veteran international striker, who hit a club record 66 goals last year, missed two penalties but went on to score twice - the first another penalty - in Vasco's 3-1 win over Cabofriense in the Carioca (Rio de Janeiro) state championship. He also had a goal disallowed.

Romario saw two first-half penalties - one aimed at each corner - saved by rival goalkeeper Flavio, but converted a third attempt midway through the second half. Five minutes later, he scored from close range. The former Middlesbrough midfielder Juninho had opened Vasco's account just before half-time with a spectacular bicycle kick.

Four players, two from each side, were sent off as Matonense beat Corinthians 3-2 in the Paulista (São Paulo) championship. The match was delayed for five minutes during the second half when four Corinthians fans ran on to the pitch to remonstrate angrily with their club's players. It was the side's first defeat under the former Brazil coach Wanderley Luxemburgo.


The replay of a Yugoslav league match between Red Star Belgrade and their great rivals Partizan was postponed on Saturday just two hours before kick-off for security reasons, the country's football authorities said.

Last October the fixture - which has a history of crowd trouble - was abandoned after three minutes when rival fans invaded the pitch, fought running battles and attacked players. The Yugoslav Football Association had rescheduled the game for Saturday, a week before the season officially resumes after the winter break. But it was postponed after the FA consulted police.

"Police couldn't confirm they would be able to deploy enough forces on the sidelines to prevent crowd trouble from breaking out again," the FA said.

Partizan officials had already said they had no intention of honouring the fixture as their team would not go back to a stadium where their players "were brutally and savagely beaten". Partizan lead the First Division from Red Star on goal difference.