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Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Brentford fans need not worry, the above headline doesn't refer to a post-season bust-up somewhere in the vicinity of Griffin Park, but to the second leg of Brazil's Goiás state championship (the Goianão) semi-final between Vila Nova and Goiás which took place on Sunday. The first leg ended in a 1:0 win for Goiás the previous Sunday.

This time round at the Serra Dourada stadium, which is shared by by both clubs, the final score was 2:2 which saw Goiás going through to the state final. But that, as the saying goes, is only part of the story.

Goiás opened the scoring, in what was to become a very lively encounter in more ways than one, through Felipe Morim. Just on the half-hour mark, the game was stopped due to a swarm of bees gathering just under the angle of post and crossbar on the outside of Goiás keper Pedro Henrique's goal, which caused the game to be held up for some 20 minutes. The local fire-brigade finally came to the rescue, armed to the teeth with some diesel fuel and a fire-extinguisher, both of which were used liberally to drive away the little yellow-and-black invaders.

No more bees on the frame of the goal, no more goals for the remainder of the first-half either. With 52 minutes gone, though, a header by Henri brought Vila Nova level on the night. Five minutes later, the Colorado went in front after Roni just about squeezed his penalty past a prostrate and flailing Pedro Henrique.

However, the locals' joy didn't last long, as with 13 minutes left, Carlos Alberto headed home after timing his run through a non-existent Vila Nova defence to perfection to put Goiás through to the Goianão final.

Sadly, things turned sour at the final whistle, when a melée broke out after a celebrating Goiás player was subtly kicked (tapped) in the back by an opposing player as he knelt on the ground. It all rather quickly turned into a mix of handbags and tag. Order was restored to the pitch after 15 minutes or so, but by then, of course, the fisticuffs and more had spread to the crowd. Seats were thrown on to the pitch, and the local police responded with tear-gas.

Tragically, at the end of it all, a 19-year-old Goiás fan lay dead, while dozens more fans and police were injured. Several people were arrested before and after the match. (Sadly, hooliganism is all too common in Brazilian football, and the yearly fatality count constantly shows numbers in the tens.) A very unsavoury end to what had been, by all accounts, a rather entertaining encounter.

Postings, not to mention reports, of the bees (and the local constabulary) in action are to be found on You Tube and on the best news websites; heck, there are even videos of the game itself to be viewed. Try these for size; if nothing else, they wil be good for your Portuguese:

The bees:

The balls (and more):  

The brawls:

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