Flamengo, Corinthians gain edge in Brazil finals

Rio de Janeiro: A first-half goal from forward Everton handed Flamengo a 1-0 victory over Fluminense in the first leg of Brazil’s Carioca football championship final here.

Everton capitalised on a Renato Chaves error to blast an angled shot into the top left corner just after the half-hour mark during Sunday night’s game, reports Xinhua news agency.

The result at the iconic Maracana Stadium means Flamengo need only a draw in next Sunday’s return leg — at the same venue — to claim the Rio state title for the 34th time.

In Sao Paulo, Corinthians moved to within touching distance of their 28th Paulista championship title after a 3-0 away victory over Ponte Preta in the first leg of the final.

Rodriguinho netted either side of halftime while former Brazil midfielder Jadson was also on the score sheet with a 59th-minute strike at the Moises Lucarelli Stadium in Campinas.

The Paulista championship is the top division professional league in the state of Sao Paulo.