Ronaldinho hat-trick lifts Flamengo to 5-4 win

RIO DE JANEIRO, (Reuters) – Ronaldinho scored a  hat-trick as Flamengo overcame a three-goal deficit to beat  South American champions Santos 5-4 away in an extraordinary  Brazilian championship match.


The former Barcelona and AC Milan forward, leading scorer in  the championship with eight goals, netted the equaliser and an  82nd minute winner as Flamengo fought back after Santos had  raced to a 3-0 lead in 26 minutes.

Borges scored two goals for the hosts before Brazil’s  teenage forward Neymar weaved his way past four markers to add a  brilliant third in Wednesday’s match.

Flamengo pulled one back when Ronaldinho opened his account,  taking advantage of a slip by Santos goalkeeper Rafael to score  from close range, then Thiago Neves notched another for the  visitors.

Brazil midfielder Elano missed a penalty for Santos before  Deivid headed Flamengo’s equaliser from a corner, all before the  end of the first half. The drama continued after the break as Neymar put Santos  back in front, before Ronaldinho took command, equalising with a  free kick which went under the wall, then scoring the winner  with an angled shot.

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