Gauchão: Taça Piratini quarter-finals report

Kléber and Sandro Silva contest for the ball in Wednesday’s quarter-final (Diego Vara/ZH)

HOURS after dismissing head coach Caio Junior, Grêmio stunned Inter recording a 2-1 win inside the Beira-Rio to eliminate the 2011 championship winners from the first stage of this year’s competition.

Grêmio secured an impressive win at the Beira-Rio in front of new coach Vanderleí Luxemburgo despite stuttering through the group stage, which they finished fourth. Léo Gago’s shot ricocheted in on 17 minutes to put Grêmio ahead but Inter drew level ten minutes later when Leandro Damião fired home his first goal of the Gauchão, after being played in by Dagoberto. Marco Antônio’s long range attempt sent Muriel scrambling across his goalline as Grêmio, whilst Damião from a narrow angle across goal as both teams searched for a second. Grêmio regained the lead when Kléber side-footed the Tricolor back in front on the 65th minute. Victor saved from point-blank to prevent Damião a second for Inter late on, to earn the visitors a win and a place in the Taça Piratini semi-finals.

Grêmio’s semi-final opponents will be Caxias, who followed on from their impressive group stage form scoring twice without reply against São José. Laercio Juninho wrapped things up two minutes from time after Vanderlei had given Caxias a first-half lead. The other semi-final pairs together Novo Hamburgo and Juventude. Juba’s 24th minute penalty was enough to edge Novo Hamburgo past Lajeadense at the Estádio do Vale. Juventude progressed following a 3-1 victory over Veranópolis. Jardel and Zulu’s spot-kick put Ju two up inside the opening 17 minutes but Eduardinho gave VEC a lifeline midway through the second-half but Jonathas Belusso put the result beyond doubt, with a second Juventude penalty, five minutes from time.

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