Neymar-inspired Santos draw first blood in final

Rio de Janeiro, May 7: Two goals from Neymar and one from Paulo Henrique Ganso gave Santos a 3-0 victory over Guarani in the first leg of Brazil’s Campeonato Paulista football final.

Ganso opened the scoring in the 42nd minute at Sao Paulo’s Morumbi stadium Sunday with a thunderous first-time strike from outside the area.

The Brazil No.10 looked set to double Santos’ lead when he dribbled goal wards only to lose possession while trying to round goalkeeper Emerson. Ganso’s national teammate Neymar ran onto the loose ball and fired a low shot into an empty net to make it 2-0.

Neymar then sealed the result with an 18m drive in injury time – his fifth goal in the last two matches.

Guarani needs to score at least three goals in next Sunday’s second leg to take the championship decider into extra-time.

IANS