Flamengo beats Gremio, nears trophy

    PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil — Gabriel Barbosa scored the winner from a first-half penalty and then was sent off 17 minutes from time as Flamengo beat Gremio 1-0 away from home on Sunday to take a huge step towards the Brazilian league title.

    With closest challengers Palmeiras only drawing 1-1 with Bahia, Flamengo only need three points from the final four games to guarantee the Serie A trophy.

    Sunday’s win came thanks to Barbosa, who got his 22nd goal of the league season from a controversial penalty that was awarded after the ball hit Leo Moura’s trailing arm as he slid in for a challenge.

    In the second half, the on-loan Inter Milan striker was shown a yellow card for a dissent and then a second in quick succession for sarcastically clapping the referee.

    The win, which takes Flamengo’s unbeaten streak to 25 games, means Flamengo have 81 points from 34 games, while Palmeiras have 68 from 33.

    Flamengo’s next match is the final of the Copa Libertadores next Saturday against Argentina’s River Plate in Peru. – Reuters