AC Milan-bound Paqueta helps fuel Flamengo’s title hopes

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Rio de Janeiro, Oct 22 (IANS) AC Milan-bound midfielder Lucas Paqueta scored his 10th goal of the Brazilian Serie A football season as Flamengo kept their title hopes alive with a 4-0 rout of Parana.

Paqueta, who will join the Italian club in January after signing a five-year deal earlier this month, gave the visitors an early lead on Sunday by shooting between the legs of goalkeeper Richard Oliveira from a tight angle, reports Xinhua news agency.

Former CSKA Moscow forward Vitinho netted just after halftime after a bungled Parana clearance and the 25-year-old then turned provider by setting up Fernando Uribe, whose delicate chip made it 3-0.

Parana were reduced to 10 men when winger Raphael Alemao was shown a straight red card for a bad foul on Gustavo Cuellar with 20 minutes left.

Forward Henrique Dourado completed the rout by rolling into an unguarded net after Oliveira had come off his line to deny former Atletico Madrid midfielder Diego.

The result in the southern Brazilian city of Curitiba lifted Flamengo to second in the 20-team standings, just four points behind leaders Palmeiras with eight matches remaining. Third-placed Internacional were two points further back with a game in hand.

In other matches on Sunday, defending champions Corinthians drew 2-2 at Vitoria, Fluminense won 1-0 at home to Atletico Mineiro, Palmeiras secured a 2-1 home win against Ceara and hosts Cruzeiro beat Chapecoense 3-0.

–IANS

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