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Flamengo beat Santos 1-0 to top table at halfway stage

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By Reuters
Flamengo beat Santos 1-0 to top table at halfway stage
Soccer Football - Brasileiro Championship - Flamengo v Santos - Maracana Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - September 14, 2019 Flamengo coach Jorge Jesus, Willian Arao and Gabriel during the match REUTERS/Sergio Moraes   -   Copyright  SERGIO MORAES(Reuters)

(Reuters) – Flamengo extended their lead at the top of Brazil’s Serie A on Saturday with a 1-0 win over second-placed Santos at a packed Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

Gabriel Barbosa got the winning goal two minutes before half time when he finished off a run from the half way line with a splendid chip that hit the underside of the bar before going in.

The home side had the lion’s share of the possession and the chance but could not increase their advantage in a busy second half.

The win in front of 62,000 fans means Flamengo top the table at the half way stage of the Brazilian league season with 42 points from 19 games.

Santos are second with 37 points. The other clubs in the 20-team league have a game in hand.

(Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Daniel Wallis)