Campeonato Gaúcho: Internacional’s draw at Cruzeiro and Grêmio victory over Veranópolis sets up Gre-Nal quarter-final
Internacional drew their final group stage fixture away to Cruzeiro 1-1 on Sunday, and with city rivals Grêmio winning 1-0 at home to Veranópolis, it means that the two teams will now face each other in a Gre-Nal Piratini Cup quarter-final next weekend.
Internacional took the lead against Cruzeiro with 15 minutes remaining when star striker Leandro Damião turned in Fabrício’s cross from six yards out, leaving the home keeper Fábio with no chance.
But Inter got complacent and two minutes into injury time they paid the price. A free kick was curled in from the left hand side and, despite having two chances to get rid of the ball, the Inter defenders failed to clear their lines and defender Claudinho volleyed home to earn Cruzeiro a point.
Grêmio struggled to beat Veranópolis in their game at the Olímpico and needed a first half header from centreback Werley, from Zé Roberto’s corner, to guarantee a place in the knockout round of the competition.
Coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo played a strong team for the game, despite having this tie being sandwiched between two Copa Libertadores games, knowing that he could not allow his side to be knocked out so early in the Gaúchão.
This means that the quarter-finals look like this:
Lajeadense v Esportivo
Internacional v Grêmio
São Luiz v Cerâmica
Caxias v São José-RS
Cruzeiro 1 Internacional 1
Grêmio 1 Veranópolis 0
Caxias 0 São José-RS 0
Novo Hamburgo 1 Esportivo 2
Cerâmico 2 Juventude 0
Lajeadense 3 Santa Cruz 0
Passo Fundo 0 São Luiz 2
Pelotas 1 Canoas 0