Inter go down on unpredictable opening weekend in Brazil

Inter go down on unpredictable opening weekend in Brazil
By Reuters

11/05/2015 at 01:41Updated 11/05/2015 at 01:50

Brazil's Serie A got going in typically unpredictable fashion this Sunday with Internacional losing for the first time in 16 games and under-strength sides from Sao Paulo and Corinthians chalking up winning starts.

All three clubs, along with Cruzeiro and Atletico Mineiro, rested top players for the second leg of next week's Libertadores Cup last 16 ties.

Unlike in Europe, where clubs rotate squads throughout the season, Brazilian sides routinely save players for cup ties to the detriment of the teams they put out for league games.

"It shows we have a good squad and not just 11 players," Sao Paulo defender Rodrigo Caio said on Sportv of the weakened team that beat Flamengo 2-1.

"The players that come in want to show their quality. If we keep on like this we will put up a strong showing in both the Libertadores and the league."

Paraguayan Angel Romero, making his first start of the season, got the Corinthians goal in a 1-0 win over Cruzeiro, who were also under-strength.

Although Cruzeiro were the home side, the match was played at the little used World Cup stadium in Cuiaba in front of just 11,773 fans.

Less than 5,000 people watched Sport beat Figueirense 4-1 to take an early lead in the table. Atletico Paranaense are right behind them after they beat Internacional 3-0.

The highest scoring game of the day came in Porto Alegre, where Gremio drew 3-3 with newcomers Ponte Preta.

Palmeiras needed last minute goal to grab a 2-2 draw at home to Atletico Mineiro on Saturday, while Chapecoense beat Coritiba 2-1 and Fluminense beat Joinville 1-0.