GAÚCHO football’s two biggest sides, Internacional and Grêmio, will meet in the quarter-final stage of the Taça Piratini after the completion of the group stage on Saturday.
The top four sides from each group play each other in the single-legged quarter-finals on Wednesday night.
Inter pipped Juventude to finish first in Group One after a weakened Colorado side ran out 3-1 winners against struggling Pelotas. Jô scored either side of Elton’s strike before Pelotas replied late on. Zulu claimed his sixth of the championship to put him joint top of the competition’s scoring charts, as he clinched a 61st minute winner as Juventude came from behind to secure a 2-1 win over Cruzeiro.
Grêmio continue to falter after being handed their third defeat in just eight Gauchão games following a 2-1 reverse to São José, who clinched third spot in Group One. New Argentine signing Facundo Bertoglio watched on as Grêmio found São José keeper, Tiago Volpe in fine form as the Tricolor peppered the opposition goal in the first-half before substitute Francisco Alex gave São José an early second-half lead. São Jose were denied a second moments later by the woodwork, but struck again two minutes from time. Marabá emphatically fired past Victor as Grêmio found themselves undone by a counter-attack. A Wagner own goal deep into injury time served as nothing more than a late consolation for Caio Júnior’s side.
Novo Hamburgo clinched pole-position in Group Two after Juba, Marlon (2) found the target in a 3-1 win over fellow quarter-finalists Lajeadense. Caxias finished second on the virtue of goal difference after running out comfortable 3-1 winners against Canoas. Veranópolis clinched the remaining spot in the last eight as Willian grabbed a hat-trick in 3-2 win over Ypiranga in Erechim. Leocir Dall’Astra will assume control of lowly Ypiranga, who find themselves battling against relegation.
Taça Piratini Quarter-Finals (Wednesday):
Internacional x Grêmio
Novo Hamburgo x Lajeadense
Caxias x São José
Juventude x Veranópolis
Saturday’s results (standings):
São José 2-1 Grêmio
Internacional 3-1 Pelotas
Juventude 2-1 Cruzeiro
Canoas 1-2 Caxias
Lajeadense 1-3 Novo Hamburgo
São Luiz 3-1 Avenida
Ypiranga 3-2 Vernópolis