October 18, 2018 / 4:46 AM / a month ago

Jet-setting substitute helps Cruzeiro lift Copa do Brasil

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Uruguayan Giorgian de Arrascaeta scored just hours after returning from international duty to help Cruzeiro secure their sixth Copa do Brasila triumph with 2-1 second leg victory over Corinthians on Wednesday.

Soccer Football - Copa do Brasil - Corinthians v Cruzeiro Finals Second Leg - Arena Corinthians Stadium, Sao Paulo, Brazil - October 17, 2018 Cruzeiro's Giorgian de Arrascaeta celebrates winning the Copa do Brasil. REUTERS/Leonardo Benassatto

The goal gave the Belo Horizonte club a 3-1 aggregate victory after they edged the first leg 1-0 at home last week.

Attacking midfielder de Arrascaeta played 45 minutes of Uruguay’s 4-3 loss to Japan on Tuesday before jumping on a plane for a 25-hour flight to Sao Paulo.

He came on as a second-half substitute with the score tied at 1-1 and made his decisive contribution with nine minutes left by running the length of the field and finishing a superb counter attack with a dinked finish over goalkeeper Cassio.

Cruzeiro had taken the lead after 28 minutes thanks to Robinho, who fired home through a pack of Corinthians defenders after Hernan Barcos’ 20-meter drive bounced back off the post.

Corinthians pulled themselves back into the game 10 minutes into the second half thanks to a penalty awarded with the help of the Video Assistant Referee. Thiago Neves was adjudged to have tripped Ralf and Jadson coolly slotted home the spot kick.

VAR worked against Corinthians 14 minutes later, however, when Pedrinho saw his spectacular 25-meter strike chalked off because of an earlier infringement.

Wednesday’s win was Cruzeiro’s second consecutive Copa do Brasil title and made them the only team with six triumphs.

“Nobody had ever won the title twice in a row, I’m so happy to be part of it,” Cruzeiro defender Leo told reporters.

“It’s sensational.”

Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by John O'Brien

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