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Corinthians near title as Goias coach quits

Corinthians near title as Goias coach quits

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Goias lost their coach after a fourth consecutive defeat on Sunday, with Artur Neto’s resignation confirming the grim statistic of only three Brazilian teams having the same manager they started the season with 31 games ago.

Goias lost 3-1 to Santos and Neto resigned moments later, saying he was unable “to make himself understood”.

Neto said he “preferred to give another professional a chance to get the best out the players,” according to a statement on the club’s web site.

He took charge of the team on Sept. 18 and lost all four of their matches. Goias currently lie third bottom of the league with four teams relegated.

Neto was the club’s fourth coach this year.

Only the top two sides, Corinthians and Atletico Mineiro, and 16th placed Avai, have the same coach they started the season with.

Corinthians took another huge step to sealing their sixth Brazilian league title when they won 4-1 and extended their lead over Atletico Mineiro to eight points with just seven games remaining.

Corinthians beat Atletico Paranaense 4-1, while Atletico Mineiro lost by the same score line at Sport.

Renato Augusto and Vagner Love got two goals apiece for Corinthians, who have lost just once in their last 23 league games and are now odds-on favourites to seal the title.

“One game at a time, one step at a time, there’s no euphoria,” coach Tite told reporters afterwards.

Gremio remain in third place in spite of throwing away a two-goal lead at home to Chapecoense, who scored three times in the second half.

The bigger battle is at the other end of the table where five points separate the bottom six clubs.

Joinville moved off the foot off the table with a 1-0 win over Figueirense to take them to 30 points while Vasco are bottom, one point behind them after a 2-2 draw with Sao Paulo.

Goias are a point above Joinville and Coritiba two points ahead of them in the last relegation spot.

(Writing by Andrew Downie; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

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